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Poster of the Week — Let Us Not Become the Evil that We Deplore

On September 11, 2001, twenty years and many lifetimes ago, the U.S. was attacked and nearly 3,000 people died immediately. This was a devastating crime against humanity. Countless more, primarily first responders, have died – and continue to die – due to the toxins they inhaled after government health officials assured them that the air was safe. Many are still fighting for health care. This continues to be a crime against humanity. Hundreds of thousands, primarily unarmed civilians, have died in Afghanistan and Iraq. More than 7,000 U.S. service members were killed and over 30,000 have committed suicide in the post-9/11 wars. War is a crime against humanity. Many posters were produced in response to 9/11. At first they expressed profound shock and grief. Then came demands for revenge and jingoistic slogans. Anti-war posters proliferated, often stating variations of “Our grief is not a cry for war.” In the top poster, the flag-draped twin towers of the destroyed World Trade Center poignantly evoke two coffins. “Let Us Not Become the Evil that We Deplore,” was said by the Very Rev. Nathan D. Baxter, Dean of Washington National Cathedral, on 9/14/01. Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D, CA) heard his speech and used it that same day when addressing Congress prior to voting to approve a declaration of war against Afghanistan for the bombing of the twin towers. The House of Representatives voted 420 to 1 to declare war. Barbara Lee was the only dissenting vote. “Mr Speaker, I rise today with a heavy heart, one that is filled with sorrow for the families and loved ones who were killed and injured in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania. September 11 changed the world. Yet I am convinced that military action will not prevent further acts of international terrorism. Morse, one of two lonely votes against the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, declared: ‘I believe that history will record that we have made a grave mistake.’ Our greatest memorial to our fallen brothers and sisters will be a world of peace, tolerance and understanding.” — Rep Barbara Lee

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