Saturday, September 15, 2007

September 15th: Remember Balbir Singh Sodhi

It has been awhile since I last posted and for those who check this blog every so often, I do apologize for the time lapse. I have been pushing hard to prep for the LSATs and the workload has caught me off guard. Once my exam is over with on Sept 29, I assure you all will be well and Ill be back to making this blog as informative and effective as possible. For now, I received this email from Valarie Kaur, who did a documentary on Divided We Fall, in regards to the backlash against those who "looked like terrorists".....
When the calendar page turns to September, it's difficult not to look at the 11th day. It's a time to remember who was lost, who survived, who has been left behind. And how to live in the aftermath.
Everyone remembers September 11th. But we must also never forget September 15th.
In 2001, September 15th fell, like it does this year, on a Saturday. Balbir Singh Sodhi, wearing the turban and beard of a Sikh man, went to Costco to stock new supplies for his gas station near Phoenix, Arizona. And to look for an American flag for his store. In the check-out line, he saw a donation box for the New York relief effort and emptied his pockets of $74 - all he had remaining with him. (Flags were sold out.)
A few hours later, Mr. Sodhi was dead, killed in front of gas station by a man who called himself a patriot.
That same day, Adel Karas, an Egyptian Christian in Los Angeles and Kimberly Lowe, a Native American in Oklahoma City were killed, too.
Mr. Sodhi, Mr. Karas and Ms. Lowe were the first of at least 19 people murdered as retribution in the aftermath of 9/11. Although our country was united in grief and sorrow, fear had the power to blind Americans to the faces of their neighbors, at home and abroad.
For those of you who have been following our film Divided We Fall, you know that we feature Mr. Sodhi, his family's story, and the story of an American city who came together in extraordinary compassion - a testament to what is possible when we share our common humanity.
On this day one year ago, we premiered the film in Phoenix, hosted by the local community, on the memorial of his death. Since we premiered, we have screened in 50 cities, opening spaces for deep dialogue in campuses and communities across the country. (We also won three awards, were featured on CNN, and have been generally too busy to send out updates on newsletters...we will recap the remarkable summer soon, we promise...)
In the year since we began our national film tour, we have been moved by the insights, stories, and memories people have shared with us. Everyone, even the very young, still feel the reverberations of September 11 th. They will never forget. We hope we are helping them to never forget Balbir Singh Sodhi, also.
We hope you are safe and healthy during these days of remembrance. Thank you for being a part of our extended DWF family. We are doing our best to make a difference.

Divided We Fall: Americans in the Aftermath

Produced and Directed by Sharat Raju ( )

Produced, Written and Created by Valarie Kaur (

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you SO MUCH for this post. I loved it. Thank you for having the courage to be real......

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