DECEMBER 1, 2006
DEAR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS,
I am writing this letter from the University of Wisconsin, where I participated in a panel discussion focused on the importance of civic engagement. The event was sponsored by Court TV and Charter Communications and followed the screening of the documentary, "On Native Soil”. For those of you who have not seen the film, it is a compelling recreation of the events of 9/11, and our quest for the creation of the 9/11 Commission.
Following the film a very lively discussion was moderated by esteemed Professor of Sociology, Joe Elder. It was heartening to see that individuals in the heartland of America, miles away from Ground Zero, felt impassioned about national security issues, specifically the implementation of the 9/11 Commission recommendations and plans for the new Congress. I was especially impressed by the eagerness of this college community to ask informed questions about topics such as Congressional reform, Homeland security, personal and professional preparedness and foreign policy. These proactive citizens are interested in making a difference in the world. A screening will be held at Lehman College on Monday, December 11th. Details are listed below.
On another note, I want to encourage you to join us at VOICES in sending letters and cards during the holiday season to Joe Coppo, Jr. and his troop of 90 soldiers serving in Iraq. Several of us are personal friends of the Coppo family and Joe is a wonderful young man. We have included information about this project in the newsletter. I also want to encourage you to forward your thoughts about the Thanksgiving holidays. We are thinking of you and your families during the holiday season.
SAVE THE DATE
Saturday, December 16, 2006
A SERVICE OF REMEMBRANCE
For the Families of Those Lost on September 11th 2001,
Survivors and Rescue Workers
Time: 12:30 pm
Location: St. Paul's Chapel, Lower Manhattan
VOICES is very excited for this year's Service of Remembrance, which will once again feature a candle-lighting service, interfaith prayers, 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. Check VOICES e-Newsletter and website for regular updates on this year's program. Space for the service is limited and reservations are required. Please RSVP by
email to reserve your place. Click the links below to:
Learn more about St. Paul's connection to 9/11
Read the program from last year's service
View a slideshow of photos from last year
Share Your Holiday Experiences with VOICES
This week some family members in VOICES teleconference groups have been talking about the Thanksgiving holidays; remembrances, family dynamics, highpoints and lowpoints. VOICES is interested in hearing from you–-the 9/11 Community--and sharing your thoughts with others about your holiday. This is a reflection of your experience… there are no right or wrong answers to these queries. Perhaps this information may be useful in helping others cope with the upcoming holidays. Some questions to consider:
How has your holiday changed since September 11th?
How was your Thanksgiving holiday celebrated this year?
Did you do something special to make the day meaningful?
What advice would you give others?
What was the best thing someone did for you?
What coping strategies have been most helpful?
Please respond to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Send Holiday Messages to Troops Overseas
Many of you are familiar with the Coppo family of New Canaan. Joe Coppo Sr. was a beloved father and coach who was working at Cantor Fitzgerald on 9/11. His son, Joe Coppo Jr. is currently serving in Iraq with the Airborne. VOICES is proud to join the effort undertaken by the New Canaan Service League of Boys to bring holiday cheer to the soldiers in Joe's 90-man unit deployed overseas. It is always hard to be away from family and friends during the holiday season, so this month, VOICES will be collecting messages from our membership for soldiers serving in Iraq with Joe Jr.'s unit: C Troop, 40 Brigade, 1st Cavalry (Airborne).
VOICES is now collecting letters and cards that will be distributed to Joe Jr.'s comrades in C Troop. We know that all messages will come from the heart, but we have been told that the soldiers want to hear most about what's new on the home front: sports, music, hometown news, etc. We hope many 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
Anthony, Kansas 9/11 Memorial
Since 9/11, hundreds of memorial sites large and small have been dedicated to the memory of the victims—both individually and collectively. This week, the 9/11 Living Memorial Spotlight features an exceptional memorial in Anthony, Kansas. Click to visit the Anthony 9/11 Memorial's page. Created to honor the "True Patriots who gave their lives during this horrific tragedy in NYC,
Washington DC, and Shanksville, PA," it was recently designated the official 9/11 monument for the state of Kansas by the state legislature. The picture below shows the memorial at night, when twin beams of light representing the Twin Towers illuminate the sky. Its website states:
"The Anthony 9/11 Memorial is about ordinary people who met extraordinary challenges, working together to make a difference across our nation, and in the lives of one heroic firefighter's family. It tells the story of the connection between a small farming community of 2300 people in south-central Kansas, fallen firefighter Joseph P. Spor, Jr. and his brothers at Engine 88, Ladder 38 FDNY, and Rescue 3. The Anthony 9-11 Memorial incorporates artifacts from all three sites of the Attack on America. The additions of WTC steel, a 250-lb block of damaged limestone from the Pentagon, and soil from the Flight 93 crash site to the Anthony 9-11 Memorial completed the purpose of the Memorial: to tell the story of 9-11 and the response of a small town far removed from the attack sites, and to honor ALL the heroes we lost that day."
The Anthony 9/11 Memorial reminds us that the effects of 9/11 reverberate throughout America and the world. It is a product of love and great devotion to the memory of the heroes of 9/11, and we are proud that it has joined the 9/11 Living Memorial. To add information on a memorial in your area, contact Debbie Westfal at (203) 966-3911 or at email@example.com.
|WTC Site Update
Statement from WTC Families for Proper Burial
WTC Families for Proper Burial recently released an update continuing their call for JPAC to take over the search for human remains in the area around the WTC site. Founder Diane Horning writes: "I finally got through to Chris Coffey in the Mayor's office yesterday afternoon. He said they are tied up in meetings, etc., because of the terrible tragedy involving the shooting in Queens a few days ago. This is, of course, where the City should be. This is the reason we have asked that JPAC come in to be the managerial and organizational entity in the recovery of human remains from September 11, 2001. The City has its own work to do. They are legitimately distracted by other events taking place within the City and must attend to City business. We have asked that the recovery of these remains be taken on by an entity that has ONLY that one mission to accomplish. The City, in asking for JPAC, would not be showing its weakness. Rather, it would be acknowledging that it must tend to City business as it occurs and cannot devote full time to this search and recovery..." Read full update.
Click here to read public comments submitted by family advocates at the October 27 City meeting on the recovery of human remains.
"Survivor's Stairway" at Risk
The "Survivor's Stairway" on Vesey Street--the route to safety for so many on 9/11-- is now facing it's own struggle survival as the WTC site is redeveloped. The stairway, shown at left, is one of the very few remnants of the Twin Towers still occupying the site. Click to view a PDF presentation on the stairway. The fight to preserve it in its entirety is pitting 9/11 survivors' advocates and preservationists, on one side, against the developers of the site and some Downtown community activists on the other. According to an issue summary prepared by the WTC Survivor's Network: "The last remnant of the WTC that is still standing above ground right where it was since the day it was built in the 1970s. The WTC Survivors' Network proposes that this stairway remain as a testament of hope, strength and resilience to the thousands who survived that day." Click to read the complete statement.
The survivors' advocates recognize that the stairway will have to be moved to make way for the construction of a new tower--WTC 2 (click to learn more about the building)--designed by Lord Norman Foster. However, they want it
"to remain intact, above ground and in it’s original location, if at all possible." Foster and Partners in collaboration with developer Larry Silverstein have proposed an alternate plan that will incorporate elements of the stairway into the design of WTC 2. Click here to view a PDF presentation on their preliminary proposal.
Survivors' advocates believe that preserving the stairway is integral to preserving the important story of the thousands of people who escaped from the Twin Towers on 9/11. Preservationists agree: the National Trust for Historic Preservation has listed the stairway as one of it's "11 Most Endangered Places" in America. The developers and architects are open to preserving the staircase--in some form--but are reluctant to compromise their vision for WTC 2 to preserve it in full. Some community activists argue that including "ruins" at the redeveloped site could be traumatic for young people.
VOICES encourages you to learn more about the stairway, and to get involved, by visiting the Save the Stairway website. Collecting stories for 9/11 Living Memorial, survivor's stories.
|EVENTS AND INFORMATION FOR 9/11 COMMUNITY
Tuesday, December 5, 2006
WTC I-Beam Dedication and Trade Union Acknowledgement
Time: 11 am
Location: Long Island 9/11 Memorial, "The Great Circle," Farmingdale State Univ.
New York's building trades unions lost more than 60 of their members on 9/11. The Long Island 9/11 Memorial is honoring their sacrifice by acknowledging 18 of the unions at this event, the dedication of a WTC steel I-Beam remnant that will become a permanent part of the memorial's reflecting pool. Your attendance is a mark of respect for all they did, and do, for our great nation.
Tuesday, December 5
Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board Public Meeting
Time: 2:00 to 5:00 pm
Location: Gaston Hall at Healy Hall, Georgetown University
Register: (202) 456-1240, space is limited
This will be the first public meeting of the Board, and it is designed as an expert’s forum in which the Board will solicit comments from non-governmental individuals and organizations with an interest and expertise in privacy and civil liberties issues arising in the context of the government’s actions to protect the nation from terrorism. The Board has also invited privacy and civil liberties officers from a number of federal departments and agencies... read more, view event program or visit the Board's website.
Monday, December 11
Screening of "On Native Soil" and panel discussion focused on civic engagement
hosted in partnership with Court TV, Cablevision and Lehman College
Time: Reception 11:30 am to 12:30 pm,
Screening begins at 12:30 pm
Lehman College, CUNY,
250 Bedford Park Blvd, West
Moderated by: Miquel Perez.
Featured speaker: N.Y. State Senator Jeffrey Klein.
Panelists: Mary Fetchet, Founding Director of Voices of September 11th,
noted Broadcast and print journalists to be announced.
The event is free of charge, reservations are necessary, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, December 14, 2006
The National Construction Safety Team (NCST) Advisory Committee Teleconference Meeting
Time: 9:00 am to 11:00 am
The agenda will include discussion of the NCST Advisory Committee's Annual Report to Congress and the status of the investigation of World Trade Center 7. This is an open meeting of the NCST Advisory Committee and the public may listen to a live audio webcast via a link on the NIST WTC web site. The Federal Register Notice announcing the meeting is available at this link. A public comment period will be held during the final 30 minutes of the meeting beginning at 10:30 a.m. in five-minute time slots, as time permits. Public comments shall be limited to the Advisory Committee's Annual Report to Congress and the investigation of WTC 7. Individuals and representatives of organizations wishing to speak during the public comment period must register in advance to receive call-in information. To register to speak please e-mail your request to the attention of Mr. Stephen Cauffman, by 5:00 p.m. EST on December 12, 2006. Instructions on how and when to call in for the public comment period will be provided to registered speakers by e-mail on December 13, 2006. Written comments also can be provided. To provide written comments, contact the NCST Advisory Committee support office at: NCST Advisory Committee, NIST, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 8610, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8610; fax: (301) 869-6275; email: NCSTAC@nist.gov.
RESOURCE GUIDE FOR 9/11 HEALTH SUPPORT
World Trade Center Health Registry Resource Guide (read PDF)
|NEWS IN BRIEF
Nov 28: Homeland Boss: We Erred in Stiffing NY - Six months after slashing New York's anti-terror funds, Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff yesterday admitted the feds were guilty of "bean counting" - a stunning acknowledgement from the man behind the cuts...
(read NY Post article) (read Sec. Chertoff's speech where the comments were made)
Nov 28: Chertoff gets ahead of Hill, sets interoperable radio goals -
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Tuesday his department will ensure that the highest-risk urban areas have interoperable communications equipment by the end of next year, and that all states have it by the end of 2008... (read CongressDaily article)
Nov 27: Sept. 11 reform facing hurdle - Bid to simplify Congress' dealings with intelligence could trigger turf battles (read Baltimore Sun article)
Nov 23: Dems to tackle Homeland Security issues - Better communication systems, improved rail security and more rigorous oversight are high on the list of homeland security issues Democrats plan to examine when they assume control of Congress in January (read Associated Press Article)