2004 Election Fallout: Suicide at Ground Zero

Political Discussion: You've been warned! Please remember we are all friends here. Insults will not be tolerated!
Post Reply
User avatar
Yearbook Team
Posts: 144
Joined: Oct 7th 2002, 1:37 am
Location: Closer to here than there, in the land between dreaming and waking...

2004 Election Fallout: Suicide at Ground Zero

Post by special_k » Nov 7th 2004, 3:06 pm


Kills self at Ground
Zero in protest


Body of Andrew Veal, 25, being removed yesterday.

A Georgia man fatally shot himself at Ground Zero, and friends believe the tragic suicide was a political protest against President Bush's reelection and the war in Iraq.
The body of Andrew Veal, 25, a university research worker who was engaged to be married, was found on the hallowed ground of the World Trade Center site yesterday morning.

Veal didn't leave a note, but those who knew the sensitive young man said he sent a grim message by choosing to end his life where almost 3,000 people perished on Sept. 11, 2001.

"I'm absolutely sure it's a protest," said Mary Anne Mauney, Veal's supervisor at the University of Georgia survey research lab. "I don't know what made him commit suicide, but where he did it was symbolic."

"I see it as a political statement," agreed co-worker Stacey Sutherland. "He was so opposed to the war."

When Veal failed to show up at work on Wednesday, his pals assumed he was upset that Bush had beaten John Kerry in the race for the White House and was taking a few days off.

"We figured he was just devastated," Mauney said.

But fears for his safety grew when he didn't returns calls from his mother and his fiancée, an Iowa college student who was supposed to meet him in Seattle this weekend for a family wedding.

"We've been trying to reach Andy for a few days, leaving voicemails and messages, but we couldn't get him," said his mother, Sharon Veal. "We were very worried about him."

Late in the week, there was some suggestion Veal might have headed to New York.

He called a friend looking for the number of an acquaintance who lives in the city, and told someone else who reached him by phone that he was here, friends said.

"When we heard that, we felt hopeful that he was just off someplace, working out whatever he had to," Mauney said.

But hope turned to heartache yesterday around 8 a.m., when a worker at the Millenium Hotel, across from Ground Zero, spotted a figure behind the fence that rings the 16 acres.

The hotel alerted Port Authority police, who secure Ground Zero, that someone might be sleeping in the off-limits site, PA spokesman Steve Coleman said.

PA investigators were not sure how Veal entered the restricted area, and the incident has prompted the agency to review its security procedures, Coleman said.

Veal's body was found near the Church St. perimeter atop the structure enclosing the 1/9 subway line in The Pit. He had a head wound and cops recovered a shotgun nearby.

"Andy was so anti-violence, I can't even see him holding a gun," Sutherland said.

Mauney said that other than the war and the election, she didn't know what might have been troubling Veal.

"I told his mother there are some people so sensitive and intelligent and passionate they don't belong in the world the way it is today," she said.

"And if this was something he had to do, it was heroic that he chose the World Trade Center."

Not everyone felt the same way.

"Enough people died in here," said Neil Thomas, 56, a visitor from Michigan. "Nobody else needed to die here."

With Oren Yaniv, Jonathan Lemire and Maki Becker

Originally published on November 7, 2004
"Sometimes things happen between people that you don't really expect. And sometimes the things that are important are the ones that seem the weirdest or the most wrong, and those are the ones that change your life."

Jessie, "Once and Again"

User avatar
So-Called Addict
Posts: 989
Joined: Sep 24th 2002, 4:40 am

Post by SanDeE* » Nov 7th 2004, 5:37 pm

I'm speechless. I hope our dips*it president is aware of this tragedy. Thank you special_k for posting this... I would have never heard about it otherwise.
Um, in my room, one seam is a little off and I stare at it constantly. It's, like, destroying me.


User avatar
Jody Barsch*
Posts: 1179
Joined: Jun 30th 2003, 1:30 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Post by Jody Barsch* » Nov 7th 2004, 7:20 pm

My heart goes out to this man, his family and his friends. November 3rd brought a sobering realization to many of us. I fear that people who are unsympathetic to Veal's perspective -- anti-Bush and anti-war -- are going to dismiss this as one mal-adjusted person's inability to cope. I foresee people’s focus being not on the cause, the grave statement of protest and the despair of a timely realization of the change many of us were hoping to see November 2nd, but instead focus on his lack of hope and purposeful efforts to make concrete change. I fear people will write this off as merely the wasteful and pitiable death of a passionate but confused man with, what will come to be termed as "issues", rather than resonate with an affected public. Veal’s death may cause some headlines, people will be sad, talk about it, some will honor it, others disparage it, but are any of us, especially those who do not already agree that the war is wrong and that this administration needs to end, going to be able to really DO anything with it? It seems that in the culture we live in today, even with the encouraging growing mobilization of the counter culture, Veal’s act will fail to resonate because we, as a country, liberal or conservative, for the most part, endeavor daily to strive for very little else than to remove ourselves from discomfort and pain. True suffering, even in this time of war and post 9/11 world we live in, is still so foreign to most of the people in this country (those with voices anyway) that this will fall on numb ears and hearts. In this overindulged society, true empathy may be beyond us. There is sympathy but sympathy is not enough to open peoples’ minds to a new point of view and inspire change. Being collectively so safe and comfortable for so long, we may have grown numb to cause-motivated suicides, burning priests, and hunger strikes. (Especially considering the ethnocentric resent for suicide bombers and kamikaze fighters. While we place a great deal of emphasis on the individual, we generally refuse to acknowledge the power and significance of an individual’s sacrifice. Our value of individual lives, often forces us to discredit those who would sacrifice it, writing them off as mentally/emotionally disturbed. -- There was an incredible article several months ago in Harper’s discussing how hunger strikes in the Western world have become ineffective because the mass population is no longer able to empathize with it because not having experienced that kind of hunger and self-destruction, it is easier for us to dismiss not only it but our collective responsibility for it.)
Sometimes I write a little MSCL fanfiction: https://www.fanfiction.net/u/1039807/Jody-Barsch
Also, after multiple V. Mars reiterations, and finally a Deadwood movie, still wishing for some continuation of The Riches !

User avatar
Ed Zwick Wannabe
Posts: 1983
Joined: Jul 6th 2002, 4:47 pm
Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Post by lance » Nov 7th 2004, 11:02 pm

Special K,

Thanks for the post. Yeah, I heard about this. Very sad. I know that many of us were in an extremely dark, dark, dark (did I mention dark?) place last week.

But as life remains so does hope.


User avatar
Yearbook Team
Posts: 144
Joined: Oct 7th 2002, 1:37 am
Location: Closer to here than there, in the land between dreaming and waking...

Post by special_k » Nov 8th 2004, 12:37 am

Thank you, Lance. Your voice is one of reason. My anger has boiled to the surface a few times in the last few days, and it's not been a terribly attractive thing to witness. Xie xie, wo de ke ai peng yo.

"Sometimes things happen between people that you don't really expect. And sometimes the things that are important are the ones that seem the weirdest or the most wrong, and those are the ones that change your life."

Jessie, "Once and Again"

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests