Wednesday, November 25, 2009
A year after Mumbai, a message of peace

Last year's Mumbai terrorist attacks are one of those stories I’ll never forget. I was working on Thanksgiving, reaching out to iReporters waiting to hear from their loved ones.


The story of Kia Scherr, waiting to hear about her husband and daughter, tugged at my heartstrings. The pair was missing after the assault on the Oberoi Hotel in Mumbai, India.


The next morning, I sleepily flicked on CNN and turned pale. Naomi Scherr, 13, and her father, Alan Scherr, 58, were the first two Americans confirmed dead in the attacks.


It’s been a year since the family’s tragic loss, and now I’m checking in with Scherr and her son, Aaron Butler, who told their story on


Butler said he posted the iReport out of “sheer desperation.” He had uploaded Naomi and Alan’s pictures on missing persons sites and was hoping someone would know what happened.


Right away, the iReport community began sending its wishes to the family. “It was that sense of community. I never really felt that before, that outpouring of compassion from complete strangers,” he said.


Even as the family heard the bad news, the comfort they received from iReporters all over the world helped them find solace, Scherr said.


“People’s natural response was to send their love, support and prayers,” she said. “They all sent their love and really heartfelt messages of condolence. I was so moved by all of this.”


Scherr had lived a reclusive life of meditation in at a sanctuary in Synchronicity, Virginia. But the response opened her to the outside world, she said.


The loving messages from iReport inspired her to co-found One Life Alliance , along with Master Charles Cannon, the spiritual leader of the Synchronicity Foundation. The goal of the nonprofit is to honor the sacredness and oneness of life, she said.


A collaborative art project honoring Naomi came about via One Life Alliance.


Linda Ragsdale, a children’s book illustrator, was with Naomi and Alan during the hotel attack. She had promised Naomi she’d teach her how to draw a dragon the night before.


In Naomi’s honor, Ragsdale and others created the Peace Dragon Project, a Web site showcasing artwork of peace dragons from child artists worldwide. Its idea is to teach children that there are other choices beyond the violence that marked the Mumbai attacks. “You can be powerful and peaceful at the same time,” Scherr said of the peace dragons.


Striving toward a world of peace and love keeps Scherr going each day, but it doesn’t replace the hole in her heart.


“I’m not denying the grief and the loss that is a daily thing, but I am excited by the possibility of spreading a positive message,” Scherr said.

November 25, 2009
Click to view WausauFamily's profile

'Peace Dragon Project' sounds like such a good project. hard to believe its been a year. How sad the news was.

November 25, 2009
Click to view Suasoria's profile

Amazing how something good can come out of something awful. The world needs this message and this hope. Thank you.

November 26, 2009
Click to view jmores235's profile
How terrible of Mumbai terrorist attacks. I hope it won't happen again. Why people doing such terrorism act? truck renting
November 26, 2009
Click to view sibou's profile

people are so generocity how can such happen.

we need to be humble and kind when acting on,

hope it will not occur again.takecare


December 1, 2009
Click to view WilliamCloer's profile
Tolerance Taken Too Far - We're Memorializing Terrorists Now? There is a sign in front of a store in Houston that says they would be closed Friday Sept 11th in commemoration of the "martyrdom of Imam Ali" one of the radical terrorists who flew one of the planes into the twin towers. I'm all for tolerance but this is just ridiculous! William Cloer Wisconsin Search Engine Optimization Specialist
December 4, 2009
Click to view pennyshares's profile
It's really very pathetic that these kind of activity's it's terrible. Penny Shares
December 25, 2009
December 30, 2009
Click to view MarkLincoln's profile

Why not be honest and just admit CNN has abandoned what little standards it once had for quality news coverage?

December 31, 2009
Click to view giov's profile know what the only people that are not nice and trust worthy around here is you.

January 6, 2010
Click to view shimanoreels's profile
yes i am also agreeing with you that these kind of activities are really a curse for our society and i hope that your this article really helps people like this help me thanks Shimano Reels
January 26, 2010
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March 4, 2010
Click to view jhdearing's profile
It is sad to have to think about safety more than ever now when we decide to travel or live abroad. The fact of the matter is we cant ignore the possibility that anywhere we go could put us in danger. It puts a damper on visiting new places and learning about new cultures first hand. Window Tinting Atlanta Ga
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April 17, 2010
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