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DECEMBER 15, 2006



All of us at VOICES are looking forward to tomorrow’s Interfaith Remembrance Service at St. Paul’s Chapel as we remember and reflect during the holiday season. Last year’s event was very special and, again, acclaimed flutist, Ulla Suokko will fill the air with her beautiful music. We are also fortunate to have the Newington High School Chamber Choir join us this year. What makes this service so special is the opportunity for the 9/11 community to come together – families, rescue workers, survivors and friends. Following the service there will be a reception and an opportunity to visit the family viewing center at street level at Ground Zero and place an ornament on the tree.


On a different note, Congress is in recess and will be returning in early January. I was encouraged this week by Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi’s plan to establish a subcommittee to oversee Intelligence – an important first step as the new congress addresses implementation of the 9/11 Commission recommendations. We have been working closely with our elected officials focused on these issues and will keep you informed as Congress returns in the new year.


This week Mayor Bloomberg announced the order of the victims names that will be listed at ground level at the WTC Memorial Museum. Several family members have called and voiced their concerns. In an effort to keep everyone informed we have included the announcement in this week’s e-newsletter. It is extremely unfortunate that the announcement was released during the holiday season, a difficult time of year for the 9/11 community. However, we welcome hearing your thoughts about how you feel the names should be listed. Please send your comments to email@voicesofsept11.org


In closing, I would be remiss not to acknowledge that this time of year can be an emotional roller coaster, as we gather with family and friends and reflect on memories of past holidays. This is our sixth holiday season since 9/11/01 – although we may know what to expect, it does not make it any easier. Remember we are here to offer assistance and support. We hope to see you at tomorrow’s service at St. Paul’s Chapel! Space is available and details are listed below.

Our best wishes to you and your family,

Mary Fetchet

Founding Director




9/11 Remembrance Service at St. Paul's, December 16th
All Are Welcome


VOICES is very excited about this year's Interfaith Remembrance Service, which will once again feature a candle-lighting service, interfaith prayers, a menorah lighting, and wonderful music. We hope all of you will join us again this year as we extend an invitation to the entire 9/11 community: family members, survivors, and rescue and recovery workers.


Additional seating is still available. If you have not yet made a reservation but would like to attend, please come right to St. Paul's. Guests without reservations will be seated on a first-come first-served basis. The service will begin promptly at 12:30, and doors will open at noon.

A reception will follow the service.


After the reception, family members will have the opportunity to process to the Ground Zero viewing area for a brief prayer. Unfortunately, because of construction, the WTC site itself is closed to visitors. Please bring an ornament to decorate the WTC holiday tree if you wish.


Read more about the service on VOICES Website.


Please RSVP by email to reserve your place.


The Holiday Season by Dr. Robin F. Goodman


The winter holidays seem to follow fast on the heels of the September 11th anniversary. Like many occasions, they can be an exciting time for some and a challenging one for others. There are an abundance of public reminders about the holidays – at places of worship, in shopping malls, in the mail, at school, and at work – that may trigger thoughts of holidays past... read full article.


Send Holiday Messages to Troops Overseas


Messages for the soldiers in Joe Coppo Jr.'s unit: C Troop, 40 Brigade, 1st Cavalry (Airborne) continue to arrive in VOICES office. We continue to collect the messages and hope many more of our newsletter readers will take this opportunity to say thanks and happy holidays to these brave young people far from home. You can send a message by email that we will transcribe, or send a handwritten note or card to VOICES at 93 Cherry St., New Canaan, CT 06840 that we will forward to C Troop on your behalf.


9/11 Living Memorial Spotlight


Danbury, Connecticut 9/11 Memorial


Here at VOICES we are constantly amazed by the beauty and variety of the 9/11 memorials built around America and the world. This week we are pleased to spotlight a memorial of exceptional beauty dedicated specifically to commemorating the lives of Connecticut residents lost on 9/11. The memorial consists of a twelve-foot glass tower encasing an inner tower on which the names of the Connecticut victims are etched. It sits on a Pentagon shaped base.


In 2003, Danbury's Mayor announced the plan for a community September 11 Memorial to be dedicated on September 11, 2004. The Memorial Committee selected world-renowned glass sculptor Henry Richardson of Easthampton, Massachusetts. Richardson's intricate sculptures are created using broken glass fused into new structures. While the sound of breaking glass calls to mind the image of destruction, Richardson's use of broken glass is the element of creation. He cuts the glass, shapes it with a chisel, and then bonds it together to create his sculptures.


The inner polished glass panel has engraved, on the backside, the names of all the Connecticut victims. Danbury residents’ names are highlighted at eye-level. The front of the tower faces north and is complemented by a backdrop of fescue and the Elmwood Park Christmas tree. The glass tower lines up with the lighted flagpole flying the U.S. flag previously flown over the U.S. Capitol and the 9-11 Memorial Flag. The glass tower is lighted from dusk to dawn. Click here to visit the Danbury Memorial's 9/11 Living Memorial page. More pictures of the memorial and its construction process are available on its homepage. To add information on a memorial in your area, contact Debbie Westfal at (203) 966-3911 or by email.


Plan Announced for Placement of Names at WTC Memorial

The names at the 9/11 National Memorial will be grouped by uniformed service, employer or location at the time of the attacks, the WTC Memorial foundation announced yesterday. “There is no ‘right’ answer,” Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who also heads the WTC Memorial Foundation is quoted in a press release. “Nevertheless, it is time to move forward. I believe the solution we present today strikes the right balance, and although I don’t expect everyone to be happy with it, I can assure everyone that their views were heard as we struggled with this question.”


The parapet surrounding the North reflecting pool will be etched with the names of the 1,518 people who were working in or visiting the North Tower, or on American Airlines Flight 11 on 9/11. The South parapet will contain the names of individuals who worked at or were visiting Tower 2; individuals who died on Flight 175 which hit Tower 2; those who died in the Flight 93 crash in Shanksville, PA; those who died on Flight 77 which crashed into the Pentagon; those who died at the Pentagon on September 11th, 2001; those killed in the February 26, 1993 bombing; the first responders; and those whose specific location when they perished is not known. First responders will be listed according to command, precinct, or company, but without their rank.


The plan represents a compromise with uniformed service groups and family members who wanted the names listed by "affiliation," rather than the random listing called for in Michael Arad's original plan for "Reflecting Absence." Arad was consulted and approved the new plan, as did uniformed services representatives. "We're thrilled," Stephen Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, is quoted in New York Post coverage. "In the end, Mayor Bloomberg did the right thing by the New York City firefighters." But it wouldn't be a decision at ground zero without some dissent. Though the WTC workers will be grouped by employer, the employer's name will not be listed. Edie Lutnick, head of the Cantor Fitzgterald relief fund told the New York Times that the planned listing would not answer the questions people always ask about a victim: “What was his age? Where did he work? What floor was he on?”


VOICES Wants To Hear From You RE: Placement of Names


We have received a number of calls at the VOICES office from family members and others expressing concern about the announced arrangement of names at the WTC Memorial. VOICES is constantly shaping our advocacy efforts based on feedback from our membership. We need to hear your thoughts! Please e-mail us or call the office.

News In Brief


Dec. 14 - The WTC Memorial Foundation announced this week that it has privately raised more than $200 million of its $300 million goal. Donations to the Foundation have increased 40% since Mayor Mike Bloomberg was appointed chairman two months ago.


Dec. 14 - Many WTC Workers Stop Work Over Dispute: Most of the workers cleaning and taking down a vacant damaged skyscraper near the World Trade Center site walked off the job this week in a contract dispute, one day after the long-awaited dismantling of the building began (Associated Press)



Friday, December 15, 2006
Peter K. Ortale Scholarship Fund/William Penn Charter School Benefit Event
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA.


RSVP or make a donation online (click here) . Master of Ceremonies, Phil Martelli, Head Coach, Men’s Basketball, St. Joseph’s University. Live Auction, Cocktails and Hors d’ouevres, Parking will be provided. Enter from Race Street, between 5th& 6th Streets. Visit www.pkofund.org for more information, pictures and details of auction items.


Friday, December 15-Saturday, December 23, 2006

Menorah Lighting with Rabbi Potasnik

Time: Sundown

Location: WTC Site

Contact: Rabbi Potasnik (212) 983-3521


Sunday, December 17th, 2006

Viewing and Signing of Freedom Tower Steel Beams

Location: Battery Park City, 200 North End Avenue at Murray Street

Time: 10am to noon, 9/11 families and responders viewing and signing

Public Viewing: noon to 3pm

It would be an honor to have the family members and first responders be the first to sign the first steel beams for the Freedom Tower on Sunday between the hours of 10 am and noon. After noon, it will be opened to the public until 3pm.

Sunday, December 17, 2006
WTC United Family Group's Fifth Annual Holiday Brunch
Time: 1:00 p.m. till 4:00 p.m.

Location: Chart House Restaurant in Weehawken, New Jersey

Space is Limited: Please RSVP by Friday, December 8, 2006 to reserve seats for your family by calling us at (732) 292-2910 or by sending an email to amg@wtcufg.org.

The World Trade Center United Family Group’s Fifth Annual Holiday Brunch will feature great food, interfaith prayer, and holiday activities for children (including posting messages for our brave troops serving overseas), raffle prizes, an information resource table, and a discussion on coping with the holidays.


"Light Up Wethersfield, CT" to Benefit Richard M. Keane Foundation


The Richard M. Keane Foundation is again sponsoring a Holiday Tradition to "Light up Wethersfield, CT" with Luminary on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24th! Luminaria are an old tradition for Christmas Eve and include a special, long burning candle in a white bag partially filled with sand. The Luminaria are placed along sidewalks to "Light the way for Christmas". Kits are $1.25 each. Neighbors are encouraged to make their neighborhood the brightest in town! Call 257-3775 or go directly to Wethersfield Travel, 225 Main Street in Wethersfield to pick up your Luminaria kits during regular business hours. For large neighborhood orders please call ahead so that they can be ready for you when you arrive! (Kits will be available on Dec. 23 and 24th at 126 Broad Street as well.) Call 563-3387 for more information. All proceeds benefit the Richard M. Keane Foundation's 9/11 Memorial Sports Center.



World Trade Center Health Registry Resource Guide (read PDF)



Democrats Propose Intelligence Oversight Shakeup


A new subcommittee combining elements of the intelligence and appropriations committees would assume oversight responsibilities for national intelligence capabilities under a new system announced this week by incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The subcommittee plan was developed to address one of the central recommendations of the 9/11 Commission: that Congress must reform its own oversight of homeland security and intelligence issues to be a more more effective partner with the executive branch. Click the links below to read more about this important move.


Read a fact sheet issued by Incoming Speaker Pelosi's Office


Dec 15 - Democrats Plan New Intelligence Oversight, Lawmakers propose a House panel to give them greater control: House Democrats unveiled plans Thursday to create a single congressional panel to oversee both the budgets and operations of American intelligence agencies, a realignment that would give lawmakers greater control of the expanding U.S. espionage community (LA Times)

Dec 15 - House Democrats Planning New Intelligence Oversight: Responding to a recommendation from the Sept. 11 commission, the incoming House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said Thursday that House Democrats would create a new type of committee to better scrutinize spending on the nation’s intelligence efforts (New York Times)


Dec 14 - Pelosi Plans Panel to Oversee Spy-Agency Funds, 'Hybrid' Committee Spans Oversight and Budget Work, Fulfilling 9/11 Panel's Call: Incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi is moving to establish a new House intelligence oversight committee that will have unusual authority over funding for the nation's major spy agencies (Wall Street Journal)


CRS Issues Report on 9/11 Commission Recommendations


The Congressional Research Service issued a report this week on the status of the 9/11 Commission's Recommendations. The incoming Democratic leadership has committed to prioritize the recommendations that remain to be legislated in the new Congress in January.


Click here to read the report.


As the new Congress begins its work, VOICES e-Newsletter will keep you informed and periodically ask for your input and comments to elected officials.

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Copyright © 2006 Voices of September 11th.  All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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.