CARY, NORTH CAROLINA - July
24 - New Yorker Rita Lasar, a member of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful
Tomorrows, will be a keynote speaker in Japan at two major international events
highlighting alternatives to terrorism, militarism and war.
On July 27, Lasar will
address The International Symposium of the 48th Mother's Congress entitled: "For
a 21st Century Free of Terrorism, Nuclear Weapons and War - Unity and Solidarity
between Japanese Women and Women All over the World," which is expected to
draw 10,000 attendees to Fukuoka Prefecture.
On August 4, Lasar will
be a keynote speaker at the opening plenary of the 2002 World Conference Against
Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, a gathering which will bring another 10,000 participants
to Hiroshima. The theme will be, "Working Together for a Peaceful and Promising
World Without Nuclear Weapons".
During her two-week stay,
Lasar also will tour the Kyoto Museum for World Peace at Ritsumeikan University
and visit Hiroshima Peace Park and Peace Memorial Museum. On August 3, she will
enjoy a reunion with members of the Hiroshima Alliance for Nuclear Weapons Abolition
(HANWA) which toured the U.S. this past April, visited the World Trade Center
site, and made joint speaking appearances with Lasar and other members of Peaceful
A retired businesswoman
living in Manhattan, Lasar lost her brother, Abe Zelmanowitz, at the World Trade
Center on September 11. Although he worked on a low floor and could have escaped
easily, he chose to stay behind with a wheelchair-bound co-worker.
During a September 11 memorial
service at the National Cathedral, President George W. Bush praised Zelmanowitz
for his courage. But the President later refused to meet with Lasar and other
members of Peaceful Tomorrows to discuss the creation of an Afghan Victims Fund.
Lasar has been a vocal proponent of the fund since her historic January, 2002,
trip to Afghanistan, where she and three other members of Peaceful Tomorrows met
with innocent Afghan victims who had lost loved ones to the U.S.-led retaliatory
September Eleventh Families
for Peaceful Tomorrows (peacefultomorrows.org)
is an advocacy organization seeking effective nonviolent alternatives to terrorism
throughout the world.