When Lucy Stubler was 9 years old she decided to write a letter to Osama Bin Laden.
During a time when many in America were filled with rage after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, young Lucy chose to tell Bin Laden that he could not break America, that the lives lost would never be forgotten and something like that would never happen again.
Lucy’s letter was published in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette where muralist Michael Pilato saw it.
Pilato, a renowned mural artist with public and private pieces worldwide, was asked to make the mural that now fills the parking lot between Bullfrog Brewer and Woodlands Bank on West Fourth Street.
After reading Lucy’s letter, Pilato knew he wanted to include it in the mural.
“All of us just wanted to kill Bin Laden and here was a girl who … Just wrote some gorgeous words,” he said.
He received some help from a local graffiti artist, Cory Collins, who was the one to re-write the letter onto the wall.
“We were up all night long writing every word,” Pilato said.
The letter reads:
Dear Mr. Bin Laden
It is hard for me to say this because I am only in the Third Grade and I am only eight years old, but when I watch the news and have to watch our country being destroyed, it just tears me apart.
You may think that children shouldn’t watch it happen, but when it is the Big talk of absolutely everything, it makes us sit around and watch it be done.
You have killed thousands of our people and they were all totally innocent. Just because we are not like you and your people doesn’t mean you have to destroy us all. It breaks my heart to see my country torn apart or being torn apart. I was once on top of the Twin Towers with my four sisters and my mom and dad.
That will never happen again though. Never in the rest of my lifetime. They probably never will build new ones because they are too afraid. Cause they spend so much money, time and effort on them. They won’t do it now!
Well, I have to go on with my life now. So bye bye.
While the entire mural highlights many different aspects of the Lycoming County community, one section is dedicated to 9/11.
“That’s my favorite part of that mural,” Pilato said.
Each year, starting on Sept. 11, Pilato holds a 48-hour vigil and paints the entire time. Due to COVID-19, this will be the first year he has not done it. He hopes to be back at it next year and plans to work on a mural in New York City, on the 20th anniversary of the attacks.