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november 3, 2006



This week the news concerning the search for human remains at Ground Zero continues to be our focus.  Like many of you, I attended the rally yesterday organized by Diane and Kurt Horning, Founders of WTC Families for Proper Burial and other family organizations, to ensure our voices are heard.  Several elected officials endorsed the call for JPAC’s involvement - Reps.Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler attended the rally and statements of support were read from Senators Hilary Clinton and Chuck Schumer and Rep. Christopher Shays.  You may have read the plan that was released by the City of New York last week and as was stated yesterday, it is simply not enough.  I urge you to contact your elected officials and ask for their support to ensure that JPAC is assigned to conduct a comprehensive recovery effort.   


On a much different note, on Monday the USS Intrepid will salute the 9/11 families in a ceremony as it moves down the Hudson River to the area where it will be refurbished.  On behalf of VOICES, I am honored to join Edie Lutnick and make comments during the ceremony as the Intrepid passes Ground Zero.  The event will be held at Esplanade Plaza at the North Cove (Marina) of the World Financial Center in Battery Park City, off Liberty Street.  They suggest you arrive at 10 am to ensure prime viewing.


Finally, this Tuesday November 7th is Election Day.  My message is not to suggest who to vote for, but to ask that you thoughtfully weigh each candidate’s record and priorities.  Most importantly cast your vote!!  Over the past 5 years, the 9/11 community has been very fortunate to have the support of several Congressmen and Senators. Some helped us establish the 9/11 Commission and legislation based on their recommendations, others have focused on supporting the rescue workers who are suffering health effects, or other 9/11 related issues.  However, as you well know, much work remains to be done.  Tragically 5 years following 9/11 less than half of the 9/11 recommendations have been fully implemented.  In the new Congress, we must make sure that our elected officials work together in a bi-partisan manner and make a commitment to fully implement the 9/11 recommendations.  The safety of our country must be a priority. 


As always, our team at Voices of September 11th remain here to help you, so feel free to contact us. 



Warm Regards,


Mary Fetchet





Last week, the city of New York release a plan to search the underground periphery of the WTC site as well as the roof levels of surrounding buildings for possible remains of 9/11 victims. The city will hire up to ten additonal forensic anthropologists to assist in the expanded search, which could last a year. Click on the graphic at left for a detailed diagram of the search area. The numbers on the diagram are explained in accompanying New York Times Coverage. "We will make sure we have the appropriate resources to do this job," said Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler, who is overseeing the recovery. "The mayor's orders were very clear: 'Do what needs to be done,'" Skyler is quoted in Associated Press coverage. Click to read a press release on the new plan, and click here to download the full report.


In related news, the Medical Examiner's office recently identified two more remains from the site using advanced DNA analysis. Remains have been returned to the families of Karen Martin, a flight attendant on American Airlines Flight 11, which struck the North Tower, and Paul Stone, a passenger on the flight. Remains from a third victim were identified, but the name withheld at their family's request.


City officials emphasized that the remains of Martin, Stone and the third man were not found among the hundreds of remains recently discovered at the former Deutsche Bank tower or a manhole on West St.  According to NY Daily News coverage, the identifications became possible when new DNA samples from family members were obtained. City officials have not speculated when the new remains--numbering almost 1000 combined so far--might be indentified. However the remains found below ground are said to be in optimal condition for DNA analysis, and will likely yield further identifications.




A group of about 200 9/11 Family advocates and supporters protested the City's plan yesterday, calling for federal intervention in the expanded search for human remains in the area of the WTC site. Many prominent politicians--including U.S. Representatives Christopher Shays (R-CT) (read statement), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and Jerrold Nadler and Senators Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer (both D-NY) added their support for the drive to call in JPAC--the U.S. miltary unit that searches for the remains of missing soldiers around the world. "The city says they can do it – but the City shouldn’t be going it alone. They’ve had five years, and the job hasn’t been completed. And that’s because this shouldn’t be a City issue. This was an attack on our nation, and the nation should join the City in taking responsibility for the recovery operation," Rep. Maloney said in her prepared remarks.

Responding to the criticism, New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg disagreed, casting his refusal to call in JPAC as an issue of city responsibility, and claiming that the city can do the job better because of its knowledge of the area. "It's the city's responsibility. We're not going to walk away from our responsibility and let somebody else bear the pressure of the work. Our medical examiner has an enormous amount of experience and competency," Bloomberg is quoted in NY Daily News coverage. "We have a complete plan to make sure that we go every single place, and this is an investigation where, when you have the expertise, you really want to do it locally." Bloomberg has been criticized in the past for being insensitive to the concerns of 9/11 family members. That perception has been reinforced by his firm refusal in the face of overwhelming demands for federal intervention. But Bloomberg seems unafraid to stand alone on this contentious issue.


Family members at the protest say the city's record speaks for itself: five years after the attacks large caches of remains are still being found. Bringing in JPAC would be a welcome signal of a new approach to, and new oversight of, the recovery. On a different level, it would make the families feel better--no small thing in the midst of such a difficult process. Diane Horning of WTC Families for Proper Burial spoke at the rally: "It would end this tortuous accidental discovery of our dead,” she said. “Outside experts’ assistance makes sense all around. It’s good for the family; it’s good for the rescue and recovery workers; it’s good for the construction workers; it’s good for the city, the residents and the local businesses,” as quoted in Newsday coverage.



Monday, November 6th

USS Intrepid Salute to 9/11 Families

When: 10:30 to 11:30 am

Location: Esplanade Plaza at the North Cove ( Marina) of the World Financial Center in Battery Park City. 

On November 6th, families of September 11 are invited  to a special ceremony as the historic aircraft carrier Intrepid render honors to all those who were lost on 9/11. 

Intrepid has a significant relationship with the families of 9/11.  Intrepid served as the Emergency Operations Center for the FBI investigating the attack. Intrepid staff also volunteered for many days to help establish and run Cantor Fitzgerald’s family support center following the attack. It was Intrepid that provided the 100-foot flag that was raised at the World Financial Center several days after the tragedy.  At our ceremony, Former Crew Members of Intrepid will unfurl another 100 foot US flag off the side of the vessel, in tribute to all who were lost on 9/11 as the Intrepid makes its journey past the World Trade Center site.  There will be brief remarks.

The event will be held at Battery Park City, Esplanade Plaza, immediately south of the North Cove Marina, west of Liberty Street. All September 11 families are welcome and a special viewing area has been set up for your use. Our ceremony will begin at 11am, but please plan to arrive by 10am to ensure prime viewing (the exact ceremony time may vary based on the timing of Intrepid’s travel).


Friday, November 10, 2006

Tuesday's Children Presents “Nurture Your Heart” with Dr. Robin Smith

Time: 6:00 reception, 7:30 Lecture

Location: The Princeton Club of New York
15 West 43rd Street, New York, New York
RSVP required.

Contact Nancy at 516 562-9000 or nancy@tuesdayschildren.org

Learn more about Dr. Robin Smith



The 9/11 Grief Study Team has recently invited those of you who participated in Phase I to complete Phase II of the 9/11 Grief Survey. The study is aimed at understanding all possible psychological responses to loss. Wherever you are in the grief process, please take half an hour to complete Phase II of the survey.


For those who haven’t participated yet in Phase II, but did participate in Phase I, please log onto the study website at www.9-11survey.org. If you don’t remember your password and PIN code you can request them online in www.9-11survey.org. If you have questions regarding the study please address them to the Principal Investigator, Dr. Yuval Neria from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons and the New York State Psychiatric Institute at ny126@columbia.edu. For help with your password or PIN code you may also contact Scott Noonan at scott@smartwebs.com.



Saturday, November 4, 2006
Time: 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Location: Asphalt Green 555 E. 90th Street New York, NY 10128

Learn More: www.swimforthefuture.org


Swim for the Future honors the lives of two Asphalt Green Masters Swimmers, Andrew Fisher and Doug Irgang, who tragically lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Proceeds from the Swim for the Future Benefit support their memorial fund, which provides financial support to young, dedicated swimmers who have a limited financial capacity to pursue their dreams. By supporting Swim for the Future, you are giving these dedicated, young swimmers the chance to pursue their dreams. Contact: elentz@asphaltgreen.org



SURVIVOR STORY: "Will I Recover?" by Michelle D. Cruz-Rosado


VOICES recently added two stories from WTC evacuee Michelle D. Cruz-Rosado to our growing archive of survivor's accounts in the 9/11 Living Memorial. The Living Memorial's mission is to honor the memory of those lost on 9/11, but also to commemorate the greatest rescue operation in human history. Many thousands of lives were saved on 9/11, and each survivor has a unique story that is worth preserving and sharing with others. Michelle's story "Will I Recover?" is a stirring account of the events of September 11th and the close bonds formed under unimaginably dire circumstances. Michelle's story begins:


"September 11, 2001
Taking the elevator to the 95th Floor of Two World Trade Center is something that had become a mindless, involuntary action for all of us who worked there. Our offices at Fiduciary Trust had consisted of the 90th to 97th Floors, with a few unoccupied floors in between. I had been working at Fiduciary for over two years,and it had become a second home to me.

The Call
8:40 a.m. I arrived at my desk when I noticed that no one else in my group was there. It was still early, and relaxing a bit before theday began was what I would normally do on any ordinary workday. Yet, what I thought was the beginning of any other ordinary workday became much more. It began as the most terrifying day of my life..." Click here to continue reading "Will I Recover?" by Michelle D. Cruz-Rosado.

A companion piece, "The Recovery" is an eloquent exploration of the emotional duress that arises from surviving such a traumatic experience--and knowing that friends and co-workers were not so fortunate. If you are a 9/11 survivor, witness, or rescue/recovery/cleaup worker and would like to submit your story to the 9/11 Living Memorial, please contact Debbie Westfal, family liaison, at (203) 966-3911 or by email@voicesofsept11.org.



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VOICES of September 11 th is a nonpartisan advocacy group .
VOICES provides services and advocates for families and all those affected by September 11th; promotes public policy reform on prevention, preparedness and response to terrorism;
and builds bridges between international communities changed by terrorism.