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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Families of 9/11 victims mourn across the globe

Families of 9/11 victims mourn across the globe
Most foreigners who lost loved ones that day had little urge to wave a flag. And many questioned the politics and wars that followed. Where, then, did they fit?

Yvonne Kennedy had handed the itinerary for her North American vacation to her son with trademark black humor. "This is just in case the terrorists get me," the 62-year-old said — as she always did — before she set out on her adventure, a retirement gift she'd given herself after a nearly 30-year career with the Red Cross.

One year after the attacks, Kennedy traveled from his home in Sydney to Washington, D.C., to attend a memorial service in honor of those killed on American Airlines Flight 77. At the ceremony.
A world away from ground zero, In a Lithuanian cemetery, the twin towers still stand. Vladimir Gavriushin lays white roses near the 6-foot granite replicas of the World Trade Center's skyscrapers,
A memorial he built to honor his daughter Yelena, one of the nearly 3,000 people killed on Sept. 11.
Gavriushin has buried rocks from ground zero under these tombstone towers, far from the place Yelena died — a place he can no longer afford to visit. And so, as the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks approaches, he mourns for Yelena here, at his own ground zero.
He remembers frantically calling his daughter that day amid the terrified crowds in Brooklyn, where he was at the time: "She never answered."
As people from London to New Zealand learned their loved ones were among the dead. But though the pain transcended borders, foreign families have battled to cope with their loss from afar.
For some, it was impossible to make healing pilgrimages to the site of the tragedy, or to grieve alongside a community that understood their pain. Sept. 11 itself — a day that, for Americans, is inextricably tied to national identity, politics and patriotism.

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