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TED Talk Tuesday: The Mothers Who Found Forgiveness, Friendship

Welcome to our next TED Talk Tuesday, a series of posts where Wayne Powell from the Powell Law Group in Virginia shares his favorite TED talks about the justice system, crime in America, democracy, the rule of law, and mass incarceration. TED is a nonprofit devoted to welcoming highly-trained professionals, educators, authors, researchers, and creative thinkers from every discipline and culture to spread innovative ideas to national and international conferences and lesson series.

In remembrance of the lives lost on this date 17 years ago, today’s TED Talk is a collaborative speech by Phyllis Rodriguez and Aicha el-Wafi at TEDWomen 2010.  Phyllis Rodriguez and Aicha el-Wafi have a powerful friendship born of unthinkable loss. Rodriguez' son was killed in the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001; el-Wafi's son Zacarias Moussaoui was convicted of a role in those attacks and is serving a life sentence. In hoping to find peace, these two moms have come to understand and respect one another. Their friendship has become a powerful symbol for forgiveness and their story has become a platform for the dialogue about national resilience.


You have to be generous, and your hearts must be generous, your mind must be generous. You must be tolerant. You have to fight against violence. And I hope that someday we’ll all live together in peace and respecting each other.
— Aicha el-Wafi

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The 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City is a tribute of remembrance and honor to the 2,977 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center site, near Shanksville, Pa., and at the Pentagon, as well as the six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993. The National September 11 Memorial Museum serves as the country’s principal institution for examining the implications of the events of 9/11, documenting the impact of those events and exploring the continuing significance of September 11, 2001. Please visit their website for more information and donation page.