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DECEMBER 22, 2006




Last Saturday’s Interfaith Remembrance service at St. Paul’s Chapel was an extraordinary event. The chapel was filled with members of the 9/11 community as we took time to remember those who perished and give thanks for those who have supported us over the past 5 years. 


Our heartfelt thanks to the entire clergy and staff at St. Paul’s Chapel who provided us an opportunity to gather during the holidays in this beautiful, historic chapel. VOICES would especially like to thank The Rev. Dr. Stuart H. Hoke who led the service and gave a very moving homily on "joy," as well as Rabbi Michael Feinberg who assisted with the service. Alessandra Pena and Omayra Rivera who coordinated the event. We also extend our thanks to the Newington High School Chamber Choir and flutist Ulla Suokko who filled the chapel with such beautiful music. And finally, we are grateful to the families, rescue workers and survivors who participated in the candlelighting service and as ushers. We have heard from many attendees that it was a very healing service. 


Today we are very proud to launch our VOICES for Kids website - www.voicesofsept11voicesforkids.org VOICES for Kids includes important information for kids, teens and caregivers. With your help and the help of your children the site will grow and expand over time. A special thanks to our entire team who worked tirelessly to create a wonderful website for VOICES youngest members. 


This week Debbie Westfal and I had the wonderful opportunity to visit with VOICES' Rockland County parents group. We wanted to meet with the families to explain the 9/11 Living Memorial project and begin collecting photographs and information they would like to incorporate into their loved ones' tribute page. In the coming new year we will be offering other round table workshops in the tri-state area. Let us know if you are interested in hosting an event in your community. We are very excited about the 9/11 Living Memorial project and look forward to your involvement. 


Thanks to all of you who forwarded your thoughts on the listing of names at the World Trade Center Memorial. We have received many emails on the topic and I will be contacting you directly following the holiday. If you haven’t submitted a comment, please feel free to do so. 


In closing, I would like to share a poem that I read every holiday season. It’s a touching message about focusing on the true meaning of the holiday… the importance of extending your love. Click here to read "A Mother's Wish Gift."  All of us at VOICES wish you and your family best wishes for a happy holiday season and New Year. May you be surrounded by family and friends and embraced by the memory of your loved ones. 


Wishing you the gifts of Peace, Joy and Love,


Mary and the all VOICES Staff
Andrea, Andrew, Debbie, Frank, Judy, Madeline, Michelle, Oliver, Robin and Tom




Voices Launches New Website For Kids


VOICES is pleased to announce the debut of our enhanced VOICES FOR KIDS website. This new information resource features art, writing, books, links, and resources geared to our VOICES members of all ages. The children’s website expands our outreach and continues VOICES commitment to the youngest members of the global 9/11 family. The website provides a separate space for children (age 8-12), teens (age 13-18) and caregivers (parents, teachers, and professionals) to post creative art and writing, share stories, obtain information, and join a community of people whose lives were impacted by 9/11. The Voices for Kids website (voicesofsept11forkids.org) has specific categories with content targeted to individuals of different ages. Visitors will find:

• Comfort Corner: a place to submit art and writing, and post a scrapbook of memories
• In The Know: providing information about preparedness and health and a place to ask questions
• Cool Stuff and Resources: with links for books, games, news, and resources
• A calendar of events and announcementsWith the addition of the children’s website,


VOICES fills a need to keep all citizens – from our youngest to those caring for them – educated, able to communicate their thoughts and feelings, and reminded that they are not alone in a post 9/11 world. Visit VOICES FOR KIDS today and please help us spread the word to VOICES younger members.


Interfaith Remembrance Service at St. Paul's, December 16, 2006


Thanks to all who made this year's event at St. Paul's another great success. VOICES has created a webpage with information on the service and a slideshow of photographs from photographer Mathieu Asselin and VOICES.


Click to visit our page and learn more about this new holiday tradition from VOICES and St. Paul's Chapel.

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


Family Tribute to Richard Allen Pearlman


This week we are proud to spotlight the 9/11 Living Memorial Family Tribute for a young man who showed true courage in the face of unimaginable horror and gave his own life in the hope that others might live. Richard Allen Pearlman was only 18 on 9/11, but had already spent four years with the Forest Hills, Queens Volunteer Ambulance Corps. His experience instilled a deep desire to help others, and Richard was to begin EMT training in October, 2001. On 9/11, Richard was at One Police Plaza running an errand when reports came in about airplanes hitting the Twin Towers. Selflessly, he joined the stream of officers heading downtown, aiming to help however he could.


Richard lost his life serving others and doing what he truly loved. Though he was only among us for a short time, his heroic example will continue to inspire all of us who seek larger meaning and redemption from the 9/11 attacks. Richard's life, and the lives of so many ended too soon, has another lesson to teach us. As his mother, Dorie writes on Richard's 9/11 Living Memorial page: "As much as we all allow our pride to sometimes get the best of us, we are all at a point in our life where we do not know what tomorrow may bring. So please take every opportunity to express or make known your love and appreciation for the people dearest to you."


It is an important message for all of us as we approach the joyous--but sometimes trying--holiday season. The 9/11 Living Memorial: we will always remember. To start building a page dedicated to your loved one, please contact family liaison Debbie Westfal at (203) 966-3911 or by email. Happy Holidays from the VOICES e-Newsletter! We look forward to continuing and enhancing this service in 2007.



New York Politicians Warn Federal 9/11 Health Money Running Out


The $75 million that the federal government has allocated so far for the needs of 9/11 responders and workers could run out as early as next spring, according to officials at the Mount Sinai and FDNY Health Monitoring Programs. In an effort to push for more funding in the President's '08 budget, Sen. Hillary Clinton and other New York politicians met this week at Hunter College with 9/11 health czars Dr. John Agwunobi from the Department of Health and Human Services and Dr. John Howard of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The meeting was also attended by WTC Health Care advocates and officials who warned that at current spending rates the treatment money would run out by spring or summer, forcing the programs to suspend benefits. "This is a crisis," Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D) is quoted in Newsday coverage. "We need a commitment that the president will make 9/11 health a priority and include comprehensive funding in his next budget."


A bipartisan coalition on World Trade Center health care funding, including Clinton, Maloney, Rep. Vito Fossella (R) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D) among other New York politicians are asking for an additional $1.9 billion, which will last through 2011, according to federal figures that estimate total annual costs of $256.6 million (click the graphic above for a breakdown of the estimate courtesy of the New York Times). Since the New York Congressional Delegation is overwhelmingly Democratic, federal WTC funding is likely to be high on the agenda when the new Congress convenes in January, with possible hearings regarding the allocations thus far. "We have a lot of unanswered questions. We've been trying to get answers for the past five years, but we have not had a lot of tools with a Democratic minority to get those answers," Sen. Clinton is quoted in NY Daily News coverage. For his part, Dr. Agwunobi expressed sympathy with the plight of WTC workers but stopped well short of committing to any new funding in the President's '08 budget. "This was actually a very humbling experience,” Dr. Agwunobi is quoted in New York Times coverage. “It was an opportunity for me to put the voices with all the data that we see in Washington, to put a face to the victims."



Don't Forget: Red Cross Mental Health Program Enrollment Ends Jan. 2


All Affected by 9/11 Urged to Join


Don't miss your opportunity to take advantage of the ongoing Red Cross program offering monitoring and counseling. You are eligible for the program if you:

-lost a family member

-were physically injured

-lived below Canal Street

-worked in the World Trade Center area or the Pentagon – whether or not you were at work that day
-were evacuated from the World Trade Center area or the Pentagon

-attended a school near the World Trade Center or are the parent of a child who attended a school nearby

-were a rescue, recovery, or reconstruction worker assigned to a “restricted site”

-were an emergency dispatcher on 9/11 or worked in the morgues serving the attack sites

-worked south of Canal Street or at Ronald Reagan Airport, and before January 11, 2002 -lost your job or earned less than 70% of your pre-9/11 income, or…

you are a family member or shared a home with any of the people whose situations are listed here. Visit www.9-11mentalhealth.org. For more information and online enrollment.


Don't Miss Out on the Benefits YOU Deserve, Don't Delay - Enroll Today


Friday, December 15-Saturday, December 23, 2006

Menorah Lighting with Rabbi Potasnik

Time: Sundown

Location: WTC Site

Contact: Rabbi Potasnik (212) 983-3521




Dec 21 - New Congress to toughen oversight: With their spending powers limited, Democrats aim to keep tabs on issues from Iraq to consumer protection. With little prospect of funding bold spending initiatives, Democrats poised to take control of the 110th Congress are reviving the ability to investigate the executive branch (Christian Science Monitor)


Dec 19 - Hoekstra sees two years of Congressional 'posturing:' Get ready for another two years of campaigning and a congressional session that probably won't accomplish much. That's the political forecast offered Monday by U.S. Rep. Peter Hoekstra in his annual Christmas address to the Holland Chamber of Commerce. (Muskegon, MI Chronicle)


Dec 18 - US Political Leaders See Compromise, Cooperation in 2007: 2006 was a year of change in U.S. politics as Democrats won back control of Congress for the first time in 12 years. As VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports from Washington, public unhappiness over the war in Iraq was a major factor in Democratic victories in the November congressional midterm elections (Voice of America)


Dec 15 - Dems drop some 9/11 panel proposals from agenda: A legislative package that House Democrats are preparing to implement recommendations of the 9/11 Commission will include measures on port and cargo security, interoperable communications, securing loose nuclear materials abroad and distributing homeland security grants based on risk, according to Democratic sources (CongressDaily)

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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.