Beverly Eckert (center) at a gathering of Peaceful Tomorrows members at the UN Church Center in New York City prior to the World Says No to War rally against the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows remembers with fondness and respect the life of Beverly Eckert, whose husband Sean Rooney was killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001. Eckert was a tireless champion for 9/11 issues and was active in a variety of groups and for a variety of causes. As a member of Peaceful Tomorrows, Eckert joined us at the massive 2003 World Says Now to War rally in New York City against the invasion of Iraq, spoke to delegates from Hiroshima and Nagasaki aboard the globe-circling Peace Boat, joined us at fundraising events including the New York premiere of Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine, and shared her ideas at our strategic planning retreats. Only one week before her death in the crash of a Continental Express airplane outside of Buffalo on February 12, 2009 she took part in a meeting of 9/11 family members with President Obama in support to the president’s policy to close Guantanamo prison.
Eckert was co-chairwoman (with Mary Fetchet) of Voices of September 11; a member of the 9/11 Family Steering Committee, lobbying for the creation of the 9/11 Commission and legislation based on its recommendations; and was active in promoting the implementation of the WMD Commission recommendations. Her commitment to community service included working with Habitat for Humanity as well as assisting teachers in a local school with 2nd graders. At the time of her death, she was planning to set up the Sean Rooney Scholarship in her husband’s name at Canisius High School in Buffalo, New York, where they met at the age of 16 at a dance.
“Tragic events such as these remind us of the fragility of life, and the value of every single day,” said President Obama shortly after her death. “One person who understood that well was Beverly Eckert . . . Beverly lost her husband on 9/11, and became a tireless advocate for those families whose lives were forever changed on that September day. She was an inspiration to me and to so many others.”
Visit the family’s memorial website, http://www.rememberingbeverly.com
Visit the Voices of September 11 memorial web page:
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows held its second annual membership retreat at the Mennonite Camp Deerpark in upstate New York in November, 2003. Pictured above are John and Elaine Leinung, Mimi Salisbury, Patricio Grehan, Beverly Eckert, David Potorti and Valerie Lucznikowska
Beverly Eckert, Loretta Filipov and Rita Lasar share a happy moment during the retreat.