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FEBRUARY 2 , 2007




This week VOICES held our first round table workshop for the 9/11 Living Memorial Project. It was great to gather with families I've come to know over the past five years. It was also wonderful to meet several family members for the first time and to hear their stories. The event provided an opportunity for those attending to learn more about the project and raise questions and concerns. Many family members brought photos, newspaper articles and other items to create a tribute page in memory of their loved ones. A special thanks to Monica Iken and the VOICES team for facilitating this event, and especially to those families who attended. Over the next several months, we will be hosting a series of 9/11 Living Memorial workshops. In an effort to accommodate everyone's schedule, our next round table will be held in the evening. We'll let you know as soon as we set a date.


In closing, I was encouraged that President Bush met with the family of Ceasar Borja, Sr. during his visit to New York City this week. I join the New York delegation in applauding this important first step of dedicating $25 million to address the growing health concerns of rescue and recovery workers.


Our best wishes to you and your families,


Mary Fetchet

Founding Director






VOICES Hosts 9/11 Living Memorial Workshop


Thanks to all the 9/11 family members who attended our workshop this week to learn more about the 9/11 Living Memorial and begin building a home page for their loved ones. Family members traveled to New Canaan from all over the tri-state area for the program, which began with a light lunch. Then Mary Fetchet and September’s Mission founder Monica Iken gave a Powerpoint presentation on the 9/11 Living Memorial. Ms. Iken has worked on the project since weeks after 9/11. Her organization has joined forces with VOICES to help ensure the 9/11 Living Memorial’s growth into the interactive digital counterpart to the brick-and-mortar memorial and museum planned for Ground Zero.


Family members then introduced themselves to each other, discussed their families and asked Ms. Fetchet and Ms. Iken questions about the project. They also added their suggestions on how to improve the 9/11 Living Memorial as it continues to devolop

and grow. Family liaison Debbie Westfal had a laptop and scanner to collect digital images and information from the participants and immediately began building pages for their loved ones. Debbie is shown at left helping family member Roberta Morell build a page for her husband, George.


The word on the 9/11 Living Memorial is spreading fast throughout the wider 9/11 community and we hope to see many more of you at our future memorial workshops. If you are interested in having a 9/11 Living Memorial Workshop in your area, or to begin building a page for your loved one, please contact Debbie Westfal toll-free at (866) 505-3911.


9/11 Living Memorial Spotlight


Family Tribute to James F. Murphy IV


The 9/11 Living Memorial Family Tribute to James F. Murphy IV has grown this week with additions made by his wife, Jeanine, at our workshop on Wednesday. James Murphy is among the many who fate brought to the World Trade Center on that September morning. He worked a few blocks away, at Thomson Financial, but was attending a trade show at the WTC. James was a beloved uncle (James is shown at left with his neice Sophie) husband, brother and son, respected co-worker and treasured friend. He enjoyed playing golf and spending time on the family boat the "S.S. Murphy." After 9/11, James' family was amazed by the outpouring of support from people whose lives had been touched by their son. Those who wrote recalled a young man who stood up for the little guy and did what was right--not what was easy. The hundreds who attended his memorial mass noted his humor, loyalty, sense of right and wrong, lasting friendships and ability to put people at ease.


His colleagues at Thomson Financial wrote in a tribute to James: "He always showed a genuine concern for his colleagues and clients. Even in the fast-paced environment of a trading desk in New York City, he was never satisfied with the answer 'fine' to the question 'how are you?' Jim always asked 101 questions because he was sincerely interested in you as a client, a friend, a colleague or even a stranger. He always went the extra mile to ensure everyone was satisfied because he only enjoyed himself when those around him were happy." The spirits of people like James--decent, devoted, delightful--never stray far. They live on, watching from the wings of our own lives, summoned by our memories, guiding and loving still. Many thanks to Jeanine for attending the workshop and adding to James' page.


To start creating a page dedicated to your loved one, please contact family liaison Debbie Westfal at (203) 966-3911 or by email.








NY Pols Applaud As Bush Requests $25 Million for GZ Health Care


President Bush will request $25 million specifically for the health care of ailing Ground Zero workers in his fiscal year 2008 budget, the White House announced this week. The budget request comes after weeks of high profile pressure from New York Congressional Members and family members of workers sickened by their exposure to toxic particles at the WTC site after 9/11. Though the figure is well below some of the requests made by members of Congress (Senator Hillary Clinton has called for $1.9 billion), it was greeted with qualified plaudits from politicians often at odds with the administration. “I would have hoped that we would not have had to wait five years and a number of visible deaths before we got the administration to react, but it is an important step forward,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Queens/Manhattan) is quoted in the New York Times.


The announcement was made as President Bush traveled to New York for a speech touting a strong economy. After his speech on Wednesday, Bush met with Ceasar Borja, Jr., who made headlines across the world for attending the State of the Union address to draw attention to the health care needs of workers like his father, NYPD retired officer Ceasar Borja, Sr., who had succumbed to lung ailments only hours before. Borja, 21, as well as his mother is Eva; brother, Evan; and sister, Nhia discussed the need for long term financing with the President in a brief meeting. Borja said after the meeting, “I’m not quoting Mr. President, but what I heard is that there will be more support… I felt a dedication. I felt the motivation and appreciation as well that the president has for my father, my family and myself for coming this far,” according to New York Times coverage. Borja is shown above in a photo taken last week at a press conference. He is flanked by Rep. Maloney and Sen. Clinton. Click to read more.



Remains Search Will Expand to Former Church Site


The ongoing human remains recovery effort near the WTC site is set to expand across Liberty Street to the former site of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. The church was leveled by the collapse of the South Tower, and experts on recovery operations after 9/11 say the underground areas of the site have never been thoroughly searched for human remains. The area was paved over after 9/11 and sections of it were used as a “haul road” to transport debris out of the WTC site. The search will also include an area on the Liberty St. side that now houses a small hut used as a visiting center and conference room for 9/11 family members. Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler, the city’s czar for the new recovery effort, has said that beginning this month two perpendicular “exploratory trenches,” about five feet wide, will be dug through the staging area. More extensive excavations will follow if evidence of additional remains is found.


The picture above shows a segment of South Tower steel lodged in the street in the days after 9/11, close to the site of the new searches. Click here to read more on this story.



WTC Memorial Foundation to Launch Nationwide Tour


The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation announced a nationwide tour this week designed to build awareness and support for the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site. Destinations are still in the works, but the tour will reach approximately fifteen to twenty local markets across the United States with "interactive events" featuring steel beams fabricated to build the Memorial and Museum, along with information on the project and opportunities to make donations. According to the Foundation's press release, "individuals may have an opportunity to sign their name to the steel beams or offer messages to be archived at the Memorial and Museum. In addition to viewing and signing the beams, the tour will include an exhibition that would allow the public to view renderings or models of the Memorial, and hear stories from September 11th family members, survivors and some of the first responders who so heroically performed that day. The tour will be supported through integrated marketing, advertising, merchandising, and public relations strategies." Click here to read more.





Congressional Leaders Push for Interoperable Communications


It is widely recognized that rescue efforts on 9/11 were greatly hampered by the inability of emergency workers to effectively communicate with each other. Deficiencies in wireless communications capabilities have long been known, but until recently, little has been done to address these concerns. Fortunately, the current Congress has made this issue a top priority. The recently passed House act, "Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations" (H.R. 1), contains language to enforce the scheduled handover of an important band of spectrum for emergency first responder communications through the creation of an office within the Department of Homeland Security. Please click here to read a recently released report containing more information on this vitally important issue. At the forefront of this effort is Senator John McCain, who, on Wednesday, announced a plan to expand the scheduled broadband spectrum reallocation. Please click here to read the press release from Senator McCain's office. While the details of this issue are highly technical, we will continue to keep you informed, as these developments are critical in providing our emergency workers with the tools they need and deserve.






Save the Date:


Thursday February 8, 2007
WTC Evacuation Study Live Webcast
Time: 10am-11:15 am (EST)
Register online: Click here (http://www.prepareiowa.com/Public/)

Dr. Robyn Gershon will cover the implications for high-rise evacuation procedures, employee training, and building design in this live webcast. For more information, and for viewing times outside of the East, please read the event flyer.


Citizen Corps Promotes "Hometown Preparedness"


The Citizen Corps program was expanded after 9/11 to encourage local emergency preparedness—an effort they call “hometown security.” Joining your local Citizen Corps chapter is a great way to give back to your community by increasing its preparedness for a terrorist attack or natural disaster. According to its website, Citizen Corps “asks you to embrace the personal responsibility to be prepared; to get training in first aid and emergency skills; and to volunteer to support local emergency responders, disaster relief, and community safety.” Their website includes a listing of citizen preparedness publications and independent study courses, as well as a helpful zip-code search that allows you to find the Citizen Corps chapter near you. Citizen Corps is run under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security. There are currently 2,135 Councils which serve 209,446,084 people or 73 % of the total U.S. population.


One especially important facet of Citizen Corps is the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program, which seeks to educate the American public about disaster preparedness and train them in "basic disaster response skills" such as fire safety, elementary search and rescue (SAR) operations, and first aid. CERT also teaches people how to work in conjunction with established first responders and community organizations to assist in the recovery after a natural disaster or terrorist attack. The CERT teams are engaging in a policy that seeks to create a mindset shift within the psyche of the American public from a response culture to a "preparedness" culture through its programs of community outreach and education.


Click here to visit VOICES Preparedness page.

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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.