On the one year anniversary of 911, while people were criticizing the evil terrorists' acts, they were applauding the many kind and compassionate deeds displayed during the time of disaster.

During September 11th of 2001, hundreds of New York City Falun Gong practitioners eagerly gave a helping hand. They went to and around ground zero and tried to offer as much help as possible. They mentioned very little of this to other people. Only a year later are they now starting to talk about it.

Certificate of Appreciation given to a practitioner (Yan) from the American Red Cross NYC practitioner helping in the field hospital

Ms. Wu, who lives in Manhattan, had been practicing Falun Gong for quite a few years. During an interview she said, "On 9-11, after I saw what happened on TV, I ran to the police station and asked if there was anything I could do to help; I am a nurse. I asked my mother to take care of my children and I went to ground zero. The fire was still burning there. I was thinking that there would be a lot of people needing medical care. I took some money with me to see if anyone needed it. But in fact, many people had not survived. We spent most of the time washing the eyes of the fire fighters, and mending small injuries. I went there for four days, and I didn't come home until 1 or 2 am.

Mr. Yan, who works in New York City, said, "On the day of 9-11, I was in my lab. I heard the news about the planes hitting the World Trade Center from the radio. After work, I went quickly to the WTC. Many people kindly suggested that I shouldn't go, fearing that another attack might occur. During that time I was just thinking that I am a doctor, it's my duty to help people. Also, practicing Falun Gong taught me to put others before myself, and to think about other people. I was thinking that under such a situation there would be a lot of people needing help.

"I joined the American Red Cross, and starting on September 12, after work, I would stay in Chelsea Piers, the main field hospital. But there were very few survivors. Many of the volunteers felt very sad; they saw too many deaths and felt that they couldn't offer that much help.

Later, the Red Cross sent me a certificate. It has a picture of the back of a volunteer. I felt that this was very appropriate because it felt like I was just a nameless individual displaying his inborn kindness and fulfilling his duty in life, afterwards disappearing into the crowds of people."

Zhang, who lives in Flushing, said, "On the day after 9-11, a few practitioners and I went to the Chelsea Piers field hospital on 23rd Street to offer our help. We brought a carload of items, such as fruit, first aid supplies and other materials. When we got there we helped transport goods from the hospital to ground zero. We transported food and water, as well as firefighters and nurses to ground zero, and took those who had worked for dozens of hours back to a hotel for rest. Also, we drove people to schools that were set up as hospitals. We worked until 3 am or so on the first day. On the next day we went again. This time we took a lot of tools with us to the emergency station, such as masks and safety hats."

A year later, while people are commemorating this tragedy, they are remembering the kindness that people displayed during it. People are asking, "When can we live in real peace and love?" The practitioners that were interviewed said, "Falun Gong fundamentally changes people, and teaches people to be kind. When all the people in the world have regained their inner compassion, there will be no more evil or terror and the real comfort and peace will begin."

The persecution of Falun Gong practitioners who seek "Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance" in Mainland China is not just a persecution against the practitioners. It's a persecution of the compassion of human beings as well as the hope for future peace.