KABUL, Afghanistan – Coming together in common grief, a group of Americans who lost relatives in the Sept. 11 terror attacks on Jan. 16 visited three Afghan children whose mother was killed in an errant U.S. airstrike.

The four Americans said they hoped to draw attention to those who suffered from the U.S. bombing campaign in Afghanistan. The Americans were in Afghanistan in a peace effort to bring together civilians from both countries who have suffered because of losing family members to war and terrorism.

The Americans include family members of victims in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and on United Airlines Flight 93.

Kelly Campbell, 29, who coordinated environmental campaigns, lost her brother-in-law, Craig Amundson, in the Pentagon attack. Campbell is making the trip on behalf of Craig’s widow, Amber, who is at home looking after their two small children. Amundson had a distinguished career in the U.S. army, but he liked to say that his job was to maintain the peace rather than wage war.

The group met with Mohammad Rahaf, 26, his brother Aziz Ullah, 13, and sister Sabera, 9, who have been relying on friends and neighbors for food and shelter since American bombs accidentally destroyed their home in the Qala-e-Zaman Khan district of Kabul. Killed along with their mother were their grandmother, a brother, a sister and a brother-in-law.

Rahaf told the Americans he was moved by their stories.

“We are sorry to hear about your losses,” he said. “We are also victims. Our house has been destroyed, we have lost our family, I have no job and we don’t know what we can do.”

Rita Lasar, 70, a retired businesswoman who lost her brother, Abe Zelmanowitz, in the World Trade Center, said she intended to “go back to the United States and tell the people there” of the suffering of Afghans.

“We hope that we can get our government to help you,” she said.

Derrill Bodley, a 56-year-old music professor from Stockton, Calif., who lost his 20-year-old daughter Deora on Flight 93, reflected on how the events of Sept. 11 mean different things to different people.

“To me, it was a wake-up call to try to understand what the right thing is to do, and to do it,” he said.

The grieving Americans have the outlook that their grief should not be used to justify more killing and destruction. Amber Amundsen made the strongest statement to that effect. She said of the Bush administration’s war policy, “I would like to make clear that my family and I take no comfort in … words of rage. If you choose to respond to this incomprehensible brutality by perpetuating violence against other innocent human beings, you may not do so in the name of justice for my husband.”

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