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BBC OnePanorama


Last Updated: Monday, 18 October 2004, 13:09 GMT 14:09 UK
Families at war
Panorama: Families at war
Ground zero in New York
BBC One, Sunday, 24 October 2004 at 22:15 BST

President Bush is standing for re-election on the strength of his record in the 'war against terror'.

Three years after 9/11 Panorama goes to New York to talk to some of the families who lost loved ones that day.

These people have followed the course of the war, declared in their name, more closely than any other group of Americans and their views reflect the divisions in this nation - more polarised now than at any time since the Vietnam war.

Jimmy lost his firefighter son, Michael in the North Tower of the World Trade Centre. A lifelong Democrat and former union boss Jimmy tells Panorama why President Bush is now his 'Churchill'.

In the close knit world of Fire Station 33 in the Bowery the tenders bear the names of ten American 'heroes' who lost their lives that day - one of them Jimmy's son.

At Ground Zero Jimmy meets Mayor Guiliani, to re-live the memories of that day. The Republican party has skilfully used the patriotism evoked by New York's firemen in election rallies and commercials but Jimmy says 'I want him to win and in my small way I hope I help him'

Two Jersey mums, Mindy and Lorie, who lost their husbands, Alan and Kenneth, in the South Tower reveal the disillusionment that set in when US troops failed to catch Bin Laden in Afghanistan.

When the White House stymied the widows' drive for an independent Commission to get to the bottom of the failures that led to 9/11 these women abandoned the school run and coffee mornings to don business suits and head for the Capitol.

"We had to be concerned about the safety of everybody's children throughout the country because the people hired in Washington to take care of these problems had fallen down on the job" Lorie told Panorama.

For both women the war in Iraq was a turning point - "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time". '

And in the melting pot of New York Panorama speaks to Talat, a Muslim mother who lost her son, Salman, on 9/11.

She tells of her experiences - the suspicions from her neighbours and the conflict between being a Muslim and a US citizen too.

She has joined the growing US peace movement and now marches in protest against the government - a woman who voted for President Bush four years ago because she thought "he would be good for the Muslims'.

Production team:
Reporter: Jane Corbin
Producer: Thea Guest
Editor: Mike Robinson
Deputy Editors: Andrew Bell, Frank Simmonds

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