Seeking peace

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Local group wants to promote lasting peace between the people of Afghanistan and the U.S.

By Special to the Monitor

A group of Los Alamos residents, in an effort to promote a lasting peace between the people of Afghanistan and the United States, have initiated a project called the Afghan Sister Village Project.

Members include Bob Fuselier, Dick Honsinger, David Trujillo, Emily McGay and Sam Gardner, Jr. Their goal is to foster understanding between the people of an Afghan village and the people of Los Alamos and Northern New Mexico.

Modeled on the sister city projects that developed from President Eisenhower’s hope of connecting the citizens of the U.S. with those from other countries, this group has established the following four goals:

• Establish direct, personal communication between the people of Afghanistan and those of New Mexico;

• Seek to recognize, understand and respect Afghan customs and ways of life;

• Provide the means for our children to learn about Afghan children’s customs and ways of life; and

• Offer our available talents and resources as needed and if requested.

Members of the group have been fortunate to meet and come to know many interesting people during their efforts to connect with the people of an Afghan village.

One of these people is Col. Jay Mitchell, USAF. Mitchell has been an adviser to the NATO operational military commanders for the last four years and is currently the liaison officer to Gen. McChrystal and his staff. He also is a New Mexican who expressed being constantly reminded of his native state by the people and land of Afghanistan.

Mitchell has agreed to take the time during his recent leave to join the local group in Los Alamos and deliver a presentation entitled “Afghanistan today: How We Can Help.”

The presentation will include his personal views of the roles that local citizens in the private sector can have in securing the peace in Afghanistan.

In addition to his presentation, Mitchell will bring for display numerous carpets, kilims, blankets and jewelry that he has purchased from Afghan artisans and which remind him of the work of the Native American artisans of New Mexico.

The public is encouraged to attend the colonel’s presentation and to learn more about the Afghan Sister Village Project. The presentation begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the main hall of Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church.