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The Sept. 14 WT E-Mail Express No. 129 quoted a message from SGI President Ikeda to U.S. President George W. Bush. This was a tentative translation from the Seikyo Shimbun. Here now is the full text of that letter.

--World Tribune Staff

Tokyo, September 12, 2001

The Honorable George W. Bush

The President

The White House

Washington, D.C., 20500

U.S.A.

Dear Mr. President,

On behalf of the twelve million members of the Soka Gakkai International around the world, I offer my deepest sympathies for and condolences to the victims of the unconscionable tragedies that struck New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania on September 11. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you, the victims, their family and friends, and to all the people of the United States in this time of national mourning and anguish.

It is my firm belief that, even as you face tragedy of this magnitude, the noble spirit of freedom cherished by your great nation remains

undiminished and eternal. I am sincerely praying that the people of America, under your capable leadership, will be able to overcome

these extraordinary hardships with all possible speed.

With my profound sympathies,

Daisaku Ikeda

____________________________________

Subject: No. 129/Sept. 21 preview

Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 12:19:14 -0800

From: "wtexpress" <wtexpress@sgi-usa.org>

WT E-Mail Express Sept. 14, 2001 | No. 129

WT E-Mail Express is a free weekly service for the SGI community. Please support us by supporting the World Tribune, Soka Gakkai International-USA's weekly newspaper. For more information and how to subscribe to this service, please see the About Us section at the end of this newsletter.

In This Issue:

Previews of the Sept. 21 WT

. . . . . SGI-USA Responds to the Sept. 11 Tragedy

. . . . . From the SGI President

. . . . . Highlights

. . . . . SGI-USA Responds to the Sept. 11 Tragedy

In a message responding to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, SGI-USA General Director Daniel Nagashima, Women's Leader Matilda Buck and Men's Leader Tariq Hasan write: "The evil of terrorism is intended to threaten and intimidate. It creates a feeling of helplessness and attempts to splinter society. Now is not the time to be intimidated. The darkest moment offers the opportunity for the most profound change. Nichiren Daishonin states: 'If you care anything about your personal security, you should first of all pray for order and tranquility throughout the four quarters of the land' (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, p. 24). As Bodhisattvas of the Earth, let's arouse great confidence in the power of our united prayer and action for peace."

SGI President Ikeda sent the following message to U.S. President George W. Bush in sympathy over the tragedies on Sept. 11:

"I express my heartfelt condolences for these immeasurably tragic incidents. So many precious lives were lost. I deeply pray for the peace and happiness of all the victims.

"No matter what hardships may arise, the lofty spirit of freedom that the United States upholds is eternally indestructible. It is my sincere wish that the American people will surmount these trying times as soon as possible under your leadership as the president of the United States."

Tragedy Affects SGI-USA Members:

The members of the SGI-USA, along with the rest of the world, are mourning the loss of friends and are praying for those not yet accounted for in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.

David Seima Aoyama, who served SGI-USA as a staff member and a vice leader in Southern California Zone, died on American Airlines Flight No. 11, which struck the World Trade Center in New York City. He was returning to Los Angeles from Boston on official SGI-USA business.

Born in Hokkaido, Japan, in 1953, Mr. Aoyama came to the United States in 1977, and managed restaurants in Dallas and Memphis before becoming a member of the SGI-USA's staff in 1983. Since 1995, he worked at the organization's national headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., after serving in its Chicago, Philadelphia and Kansas City regional offices.

"David was my dear friend and a hero in the truest sense of the word," said SGI-USA General Director Danny Nagashima. "He dedicated himself to the cause of American kosen-rufu for 24 years. I know many people across the country had deep, personal relationships with David based on his many efforts to encourage members. Now is the time to consider what we can do to repay our debt of gratitude for his immeasurable contributions to our movement. Based on the way he lived his life and the Buddhist view of

life's eternity, my deep conviction is that he will be immediately reborn in America, and continue to fight together with us for kosen-rufu."

A memorial service honoring Mr. Aoyama was immediately planned for Sept. 15 at the SGI-USA's Los Angeles Friendship Center.

At press time, several other SGI-USA members thought to be in or near the World Trade Center during and after the attack, including some rescue workers, had not been accounted for. "The very spirit of Buddhism is hope," said SGI-USA Women's Leader Matilda Buck. "Our prayer, without a doubt, is reaching those people not yet found. Let's continue our united prayer for those affected by this tragedy and our support of each other in faith."

In addition, at the time of the attacks, 41 SGI-USA youth were en route to Los Angeles from Tokyo, returning from an SGI training course. Three of the youth flew directly to their home state of Hawaii and one to the Phillipines, where they landed safely. The remaining participants, together on one flight, were diverted to Vancouver, B.C., Canada, where they landed safely and were awaiting transport back to Los Angeles at press time.

"We are all in good health and high spirits," reported SGI-USA Youth Leader James Herrmann from Vancouver. "The SGI members in Vancouver have been amazing in making us feel welcome and safe. We still feel like we are on the training course, studying and praying together constantly. These youth are completely determined to return to their respective areas with a renewed conviction to lead the kosen-rufu movement and ensure that nothing like this ever happens again."

SGI-USA will continue to provide updates to members through official memos sent to community centers. In addition, whenever possible, updates will be sent to subscribers of the World Tribune E-Mail Express, a free service.

. . . . . From the SGI President

In his message to a nationwide prefecture leaders conference, held at the Soka Gakkai Headquarters, Shinanomachi, Tokyo, Aug. 2, SGI President Ikeda says: "The following episode took place immediately after Alexander's victory over the forces of his mortal enemy Persia. Alexander dispatched someone to politely deliver a message to the mother of his foe. He explained that her son, the king, was alive and safe, putting her worries to rest.

"After a victory in battle, Alexander would seek to further expand his forces, turning even former enemies into allies.

"The next day, Alexander, accompanied by only one guard, paid a visit to the king's mother. When they approached, because the two wore similar attire, the mother, not knowing who Alexander was, approached the guard and dropped to her knees in a show of respect. As soon as she realized her mistake, she shrank back in shame.

"But Alexander calmly told her: 'You were not mistaken. For this man is also Alexander.' As far as he was concerned, anyone who fought with the same sense of responsibility was every bit his equal. He did not feel above or superior to others. This anecdote well illustrates Alexander's conviction that everyone is a hero."

 

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