Not in Our Son’s Name

Phyllis and Orlando Rodriguezes’ son Greg was one of the World Trade Center victims. The Rodriguezes have asked that people share as widely as possible copies of this Sept. 15 letter they distributed to the media. It was written before the bombing of Afghanistan began.

By Phyllis and Orlando Rodriguez

Our son Greg is among the many missing from the World Trade Center attack. Since we first heard the news, we have shared moments of grief, comfort, hope, despair, fond memories with his wife, the two families, our friends and neighbors, his loving colleagues at Cantor Fitzgerald/ESpeed, and all the grieving families that daily meet at the Pierre Hotel.

We see our hurt and anger reflected among everybody we meet. We cannot pay attention to the daily flow of news about this disaster. But we read enough of the news to sense that our government is heading in the direction of violent revenge, with the prospect of sons, daughters, parents, friends in distant lands, dying, suffering, and nursing further grievances against us. It is not the way to go. It will not avenge our son’s death. Not in our son’s name.

Our son died a victim of an inhuman ideology. Our actions should not serve the same purpose. Let us grieve. Let us reflect and pray. Let us think about a rational response that brings real peace and justice to our world. But let us not as a nation add to the inhumanity of our times.

Teaching Ideas

Discuss how Phyllis and Orlando Rodriguez would respond to the policies of the U.S. government in the weeks after they wrote this letter.

Find a newspaper letter to the editor about post-September 11th events – terrorism, the war in Afghanistan, the new anti-terrorism legislation, etc. – and write your own letter in response. If you like, write this from the Rodriguezes’ perspective.

This article is also available as a letter-size PDF for student handouts

Winter 2001 / 2002