All over US, Americans pledge to fight terror with India

December 5th, 2008 - 1:09 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, Dec 5 (IANS) It could be memories of 9/11, that six Americans were killed or just the urgency to unite in the face of global terror. The reasons are many but the cause just one - peace - for the scores of prayer meetings, candlelight vigils and peace rallies across the US in the days since the Mumbai terror attack. From big cities to small towns, people have come out of their homes to show solidarity with India and say that Americans were with Indians in the fight against terror.

On Thursday, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino led a candlelight vigil at the Boston City Hall Plaza which was attended by a large number of people.

“My heart goes out to the families and friends of all the victims - Indian, American, British, Israeli,” Menino said. “Those who attacked in Mumbai seek to attack all of us who cherish diversity, who value freedom and openness, and equality.”

Echoing what is being said across the US these days, the Boston mayor said: “We will not be influenced by them. We will continue to seek the common threads that bind peoples regardless of race, religion, ethnicity; we will continue to cherish our shared humanity.”

Just as the US’ resilience proved itself after 9/11, so will India’s deeply rooted democracy sustain her through these attacks, Menino said.

At least two more meetings related to Mumbai terror attacks are scheduled in Boston in the next few days.

Thursday also saw a vigil in Milpitas, California.

The day before Wednesday, students at the prestigious Columbia University here gathered inside the sprawling campus. “On this night, we are not members of individual clubs and beliefs. We are united under humanity, compassion and understanding.”

Reports of such meetings are trickling in from all over the country.

The University of Southern California, which has a sizeable presence of students from India, held a multifaith memorial service and candlelight vigil on Dec 2.

Several hundred people attended a peace rally condemning Mumbai terrorist attack in San Francisco over the weekend. Another one is being held this weekend.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has already attended at least two condolences and prayer meeting related to Mumbai attack in the last one week.

New Jersey Governor John Corzine and several Congressmen and Senators are expected to attend a condolence meeting in Edison coming weekend. Similar gatherings are being held in states like Texas, Florida, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.

Such meetings are being held even in states like Minnesota, Nevada and North Dakota, where there are not many Indian Americans.

In New York, the Asia Society in association with South Asian Journalist Association (SAJA) has organised a panel discussion Dec 17 on the Mumbai terror attack that began on a Wednesday night and ended 60 hours later on Saturday morning with at least 172 people killed.

The event will bring together leading lights from the community like authors Amitav Ghosh, Salman Rushdie and Suketu Mehta and analyst Fareed Zakaria.

Besides the usual peace rallies and condolence meetings, coalitions of progressive South Asian Americans are organising a Peace Vigil for Mumbai on Dec 6 in San Francisco.

Seldom has an event in India attracted the attention of Americans like the Mumbai terror siege. In the past, natural disasters like the Gujarat earthquake and the tsunami saw Americans donate liberally, but this is the first time that they have come out on the streets.

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