Truth-Telling Prize Recipient, 2005

Kristen Breitweiser, 9/11 widow and activist, is being honored for her role in pressuring official Washington to provide a public accounting to the American people of what went wrong on the morning of September 11 and in the months leading up to the disaster that claimed the life of her husband and more than 3,000 others.

Breitweiser did not seek to be known as a truth-teller. She was a stay-at-home mom in suburban New Jersey and a George Bush supporter. Yet Breitweiser and the other so-called “Jersey Girls,” transformed by their grief and outraged by a lack of accountability, are widely credited with forcing the creation of the 9/11 Commission and were instrumental in insuring the passage in Congress of the national security reforms it recommended.

Breitweiser recalls the spirit of Ron Ridenhour, the citizen-activist who also went to the halls of power seeking justice and who would not be denied. We applaud Breitweiser for her courage, and we thank her for her tenacity and for what she has done to preserve and protect our democracy.

More 2005 Prize Winners

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