How local and long-distant compassion helps a family heal...
9/11 Hate Crime Victim's Kin Become US Citizens
By SAMANTHA HENRY Associated Press
WEST WINDSOR, N.J. March 16, 2012
(AP) Anum Hasan has seen many conflicting visions of America: the hope of a better life that brought her family from Pakistan, the hate-filled act that ended her father's life in the name of American vengeance; and an outpouring of compassion that her family has come to feel is the true face of the country they now call home.
"I think about what story I'll tell her one day about what happened to our family," Anum Hasan said, cradling her 1-year-old daughter Aisha on her lap. "It's important for her to know there's always a lot of hate going around in the world, but there is so much more good.
"Hasan's father, Waqar Hasan, was shot to death four days after Sept. 11, 2001, in Texas, targeted by a white supremacist looking for revenge against Middle Eastern men for the terror attack.
The family had every reason to want to leave, but on Friday, Hasan's widow and three of her four daughters were sworn in as U.S. citizens.
It was what happened in the aftermath of Hasan's killing that reinforced the family's decision to remain in the U.S.A.
The doorbell of their Milltown home did not stop ringing. Letters started pouring in. Hundreds of phone messages from across the country were left with their local congressman, decrying Hasan's killing. Fruit baskets and baked goods were brought to their home. Neighbors in their small town organized a candlelight peace vigil and Waqar Hasan's widow, Durree Hasan, recalled her amazement that the elderly, infirm woman who lived next door had found a way to attend the vigil, despite the pouring rain...
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