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January 19, 2007




Yesterday we sent out a survey to our membership to gauge the experiences and current needs of individuals 5 years after 9/11. This survey is intended to evaluate the evolving needs of the broader community. In an effort to expand our outreach, I ask that you forward the survey to your family and friends. Your input is extremely important to us to ensure VOICES is providing appropriate support and programs! We have provided a link to the survey below.


This morning there was an article in the New York Times regarding the fate of the Survivor Stairway. If you are unfamiliar with the history of the stairway, it survived the attacks on 9/11 and has become a symbol of survival, especially for those who used it as an escape route on 9/11. We welcome your opinion and encourage you to submit a letter during the comment period which ends on February 12th.


Thanks to all of you, the 9/11 Living Memorial archive is continuing to grow!! We have had a steady stream of family members and survivors begin the process of documenting their stories. Our first 9/11 Living Memorial event will be a roundtable discussion and lunch on Thursday, January 31st in New Canaan, CT. In the coming months we will be hosting similar events in the tri-state area and welcome your participation in planning an event in your area.


In an effort to educate our membership about the 9/11 Commission recommendations we are highlighting key areas of reform in our upcoming e-newsletters. This week we will focus on Congressional reform of intelligence oversight. As the 9/11 Commissioners have noted, Congress is currently “dysfunctional.” The House of Representatives has taken an important step forward in improving oversight and we hope the Senate will follow their leadership.


In closing, I hope you took some time on Monday to reflect on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His inspirational messages of hope, tolerance and acceptance certainly applies today, more than ever.


Our best wishes to you and your families,


Mary Fetchet

Founding Director






VOICES Launches New Survey


VOICES has received an excellent response so far to our new survey designed to evaluate the experiences and needs of individuals 5 years after 9/11. If you have already taken the survey, thank you! But we ask that you encourage your family, friends and anybody who might want to participate to take the survey online today.


Click here to generate an email message with a link to the survey. Once the new window pops up, simply enter the email addresses of the intended recipients and click send. Thank you in advance for spreading the word on this important survey!


If you haven't taken the survey yet, click here. We are especially interested in the opinions of VOICES e-Newsletter readers!




Wednesday, January 31, 2006

9/11 Living Memorial Workshop and Lunch

Time: 12 to 2 pm
Location: New Canaan Library/ Adrian Lamb Room, 151 Main St., New Canaan, CT

RSVP By January 24th: Michelle @ 866-505-3911 or mdoherty@voicesofsept11.org

Mary Fetchet and Monica Iken will give a brief presentation on the 9/11 Living Memorial (www.911livingmemorial.org) which will be followed by round table discussions led by our mental health professionals. You will then have the opportunity to begin creating a Living Memorial Page with Debbie Westfal, family liaison for the 9/11 Living Memorial.


Click here for an invitation and directions to the New Canaan Library.



9/11 Living Memorial Spotlight


Survivor Story: "Fortunate: A Personal Diary of 9/11"


Janette MacKinlay, an artist and art teacher, moved to Lower Manhattan from California in 1997 and settled in a 4th floor loft at 110 Liberty Street. Both she and her companion, Jim Lecce, were active participants in the Downtown arts and culture scene. As the events of 9/11 unfolded right across the street, Janette and Jim decided at first to “wait it out,” but the dust and debris cloud created by the collapse of Tower Two blew out their windows and forced them to evacuate the area.


We are fortunate that Janette recorded this amazing story of survival and recovery as “Fortunate: A Personal Diary of 9/11” now available for download in the Survivor’s Stories section of the 9/11 Living Memorial. The selection of photographs includes shots before, during and after the attacks. Also included are memorial floral arrangements which were inspired by Janette’s background in contemporary art and the discipline of Ikebana, Japanese flower arranging. We encourage all of you to read this moving and informative perspective on the events of 9/11. You can learn more about Janice and her artistic responses to 9/11 called “The Need to Remember” at her website: www.theneedtoremember.com.






House Creates Select Intelligence Oversight Panel

On January 9, 2007, The House voted largely along party lines, 239-188, to pass a resolution, sponsored by Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., that establishes an integrated intelligence oversight panel consisting of members from other committees. The provision, named H. Res 35 (read text of resolution) responds to a recommendation by the 9/11 Commission urging a change in intelligence and counter-terrorism oversight. The new panel would include members from both the Intelligence Committee, which authorizes and oversees intelligence programs, and the Appropriations Committee, which holds the purse strings. Learn more about Intelligence Oversight reform in our Voices for Change page.


"This is a major reform, and a significant and important step forward in improving oversight," 9/11 Commissioner Tim Roemer is quoted in Baltimore Sun coverage. Roemer added that marrying the spending and policy responsibilities would make it harder for intelligence agencies to "game the system" by playing one committee off the other, as they do now. The Commissioners have advocated for a single joint House-Senate Intelligence Committee. But taking that step would require Senate approval, and the Senate has so far resisted overhauling its own intelligence oversight structure. Because it is an internal House Resolution, H. Res. 35 does not require action from the Senate or the signature of President Bush. The resolution fulfills the Commissioners’ recommendation for a “a single committee in each house of Congress, combining authorizing and appropriating authorities” as an alternative to the joint committee.




LMDC Plans To Dismantle "Survivor's Stairway" To Make Way for Tower


Parts of the “Survivor’s Stairway,” the last remaining architectural remnant of the Twin Towers, will remain at Ground Zero but be divided up and moved according to a plan released by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation this week. The LMDC argues that the stairway must be moved to make way for the planned WTC 2 building, designed by Lord Norman Foster. Advocates led by WTC survivors and historical preservationists have waged a long campaign to keep the 21-foot stairway whole and in its current location on Vesey Street. For more information on the history of the Survivor’s Stairway, the path to freedom for hundreds of WTC survivors, please read our article in the December 1, 2006 VOICES e-Newsletter and visit the website of the “Save the Stairway” campaign.


The LMDC’s new plan would salvage only the granite faces of the two flights of stairs that make up the stairway. Six to nine of the stair faces would be installed in the steps leading up to the lobby of Tower 2, in the same location they occupy now, but reoriented. Both in and outside the Tower 2 lobby, the outline of the whole staircase would be marked with metal channels. Other stair faces could be incorporated into stairs at the WTC memorial visitor’s center or become an exhibit along with other artifacts and remnants salvaged from the site during clean-up. “It would be our honor to include this material,” Alice M. Greenwald, an executive vice president of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation and the director of the memorial museum is quoted in New York Times coverage.


Preservationists have urged for months that the whole staircase be kept at its original location, and will continue to press for full preservation "We are vehemently opposed to either proposal because you would be cannibalizing the ruin, whose significance lies in its structural integrity," Frank Sanchis, Senior Vice President of the Municipal Art Society and a longstanding advocate for stairway preservation, is quoted in NY Daily News coverage.


A public comment period on the plan will be open until February 12th. Though the LMDC’s website has not yet set up a specific comment form for this issues, VOICES was assured that any comments posted in the planning comments section will be considered. A comment form specifically for the Survivor’s Stairway will likely be posted next week, according to the LMDC. Check their website (http://www.renewnyc.com/) for updates. But we want to hear what you have to say. Please post your comment in our question of the week section on our forum, and contact our office if you have any questions.


Question: Do you think the "Survivor's Stairway" should be preserved in its original location, with the plans for WTC 2 altered to accommodate it?


Click to Answer Question



Community Board 1 Votes to Call in JPAC for Remains Search


This week, after months of lobbying from 9/11 family members and advocates, Manhattan's Community Board 1 (CB1) issued a resolution calling for an elite military unit to intervene in the ongoing search for human remains in and around the WTC site. CB1 is the local governing body in Lower Manhattan. Though their resolution on JPAC is not binding, the action was hailed by family members and advocates who criticize the city's recovery efforts as ineffective and haphazard. "It means right now, we now have the Community Board 1 representing the residents of Lower Manhattan added to the list of people who want JPAC to come in and assist with this because we still don't believe the city is doing an appropriate job with the search," Dennis McKeon, an advocate for the 9/11 families, is quoted in Staten Island Advance coverage.


CB1 voted as as the City sent a memo yesterday to Sept. 11 families informing them of the discovery of two potential human remains at 11 Water Street, the facility where inspections of debris from the WTC site are being inspected. About 20 9/11 family members showed their support for the resolution at Tuesday's meeting. Deputy Mayor Ed Skylar, the city's point person on the recovery of remains, defended the effort and said the city would hire 11 more anthropologists to assist with its $30 million, yearlong search plan. The city's forensic anthropologist, Dr. Bradley Adams, said calling in JPAC is unnecessary. "On these missions that J-PAC goes on there's one anthropologist, so if J-PAC sent out an anthropologist like they do on normal missions like this that's not going to speed up our process. We've got a lot of people already on site. We've got the expertise, the expertise that you all think needs to come here from J-PAC, is already here and working on this project," Dr. Adams is quoted in New York 1 coverage.


For more information, visit the Recovering Remains page on VOICES website.




Resolve to Be Ready in 2007


Dropping those few pesky pounds might be a lost cause, but there is another vitally important resolution everybody should make this January: instituting effective preparedness measures in your home for a terrorist attack or natural disaster. VOICES has joined the Department of Homeland Security in urging all Americans to take this season of new year's resolutions as a opportunity to take common-sense steps that will benefit your safety and peace of mind in case of an emergency.


In a recent national survey conducted by The Ad Council, 91 percent of Americans agreed that taking some simple steps to prepare could help protect themselves and their families in the event of an emergency. However, only 55 percent had taken at least one of the three steps recommended by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Ready Campaign, including getting an emergency supply kit, making a family emergency plan, and being informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses.  


VOICES is encouraging you to visit www.ready.gov or call 1-800-BE-READY to learn how to prepare your families, homes and businesses for all types of emergencies including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks. Free materials, including family emergency plan templates and sample business continuity plans, are available through these resources. You can also visit VOICES Preparedness homepage, which has a variety of other resources to help you get started.


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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.