March 2, 2007
DEAR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS,
I would like to thank all of you who contacted your Senators this week. Your calls and letters helped influence their decision to protect the bill S.4 from unrelated amendments. We feel strongly that this legislation to fully implement the 9/11 Commission recommendations must be considered separately from issues related to the war in Iraq. We have provided an update below on the Senate debate and the White House’s rebuttal to the legislation.
This past Monday I had the privilege of meeting with the families and friends of those who perished in the 1993 WTC bombing. As I learned more about their personal stories, I was inspired by their strength and the close community which they have sustained over the past fourteen years. Reflecting on the day, I was struck by the common bond we share, and I am firmly committed to ensuring that their stories are documented alongside ours in the 9/11 Living Memorial. In this week’s e-Newsletter, we feature the temporary 1993 memorial which incorporates a fragment of the original memorial which was destroyed in the attacks on September 11, 2001.
As always, please feel free to contact our office if we can be of any assistance.
Our best wishes to you and your families,
| VOICES PROGRAMS AND EVENTS
Save The Date: New 9/11 Living Memorial Workshops Added
*NEW* In Westchester
9/11 Living Memorial Workshop
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Time: 7pm to 9pm
Location: Larchmont Yacht Club
1 Woodbine Avenue,
*NEW* In Long Island
9/11 Living Memorial Workshop
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Two sessions: 12:30pm to 3pm
and 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Location: WTC Family Center
2277 Grand Avenue,
*TIME CHANGE* In New Jersey
9/11 Living Memorial Workshop
Saturday, March 31, 2007
*New* Time: 1:30pm to 3:30pm
Location: Ridgewood Public Library, 125 N. Maple Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ
The program will include a brief presentation on the 9/11 Living Memorial (www.911livingmemorial.org) and opportunities to begin creating a Living Memorial Page with Debbie Westfal, family liaison for the 9/11 Living Memorial. Refreshments will be served. More details will be announced soon. Call or email Michelle Doherty toll free
(866) 505-3911 to register. To read about a previous workshop held in New Canaan, CT, please click here.
9/11 Living Memorial Feature
Temporary Memorial To 1993 WTC Bombing Victims
On February 26, 2005, the Port Authority of New York dedicated a temporary memorial to pay tribute to the victims of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. The original granite memorial fountain honoring the six people who perished in the 1993 WTC bombing was destroyed on 9/11. It's inscription read:
"On February 26, 1993, a bomb set by terrorists exploded below this site. This horrible act of violence killed innocent people, injured thousands, and made victims of us all."
After 9/11, a fragment of the original memorial bearing part of the name of one of the victims was recovered from the pile. The fragment is preserved in the interim memorial, a 9-foot, stainless steel pylon that evokes the memory of the Twin Towers. The temporary memorial was designed by Port Authority Senior Architect Jacqueline Hanley. It will remain in its current location on Liberty St. until the permanent memorial is opened at the World Trade Center site. The permanent memorial will honor both the victims of the 1993 and 2001 terrorist attacks. Visit the 9/11 Living Memorial page for the Temporary 1993 World Trade Center Bombing Memorial.
|Action alert UPDATE
Senate Drops Iraq from Debate on 9/11 Reforms Legislation
The advocacy work of 9/11 families made a difference again this week when Senate leaders agreed to keep debate on the Iraq war out of their bill to implement remaining 9/11 Commission recommendations. In an open letter to the Senate, a group of family members wrote: "This legislation [known as the Improving America's Security Act or S.4] is too important to be politicized by the introduction of non-germane, controversial amendments ... particularly those related to Iraq," the letter said, as quoted in Congressional Quarterly coverage. Click here to read the full letter. The 9/11 family advocates attracted a fair amount of media attention, and several VOICES members, including Founding Director Mary Fetchet and Advisory Board Member Carol Ashley, were credited, in part, with the success of this effort. The Associated Press wrote: "Spurred by the families of Sept. 11 victims, Senate leaders tentatively agreed Tuesday to take up a measure that would tighten the nation's security and delay a contentious debate on Iraq until next month."
Debate over the legislation is still divisive, with Republican senators joining the White House in a threat to veto the legislation should it contain authorization for collective bargaining rights for Transportation Security Administration workers. Click here to read a statement of Bush Administration policy largely critical of S.4.
VOICES remains firm in its position regarding the importance of this legislation in ensuring our safety. If progress is to be made, the security of the American people must transcend the hurdles of political infighting. Floor debate on S.4 will continue at least until early next week and is televised on C-SPAN 2. VOICES will continue to provide updates on this important subject, including how you can continue to make a positive difference. Click to visit information on S.4 from THOMAS.
|MEMORIAL FOUNDATION EVENTS
Save the Date:
Sunday April 1, 2007
The Richard M. Keane Foundation
6th Annual 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament
Time: 8am to 4pm
Wethersfield High School Gym, Weathersfield, Connecticut
Contact Recreation Department for brackets and application after March 1.
This event will include clinics, contests, and surprises. The Richard M. Keane Foundation is raising funds to create a 9/11 Sports Center at the Pitkin community Center, in memory of all those who died on 9/11.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
The Tower Of Hope Fundraising Gala: "Lighting the Path"
Location: Puck Building's Sky Ballroom
$150 in advance and $175 at the door.
Founded in memory of Tom Sinton, the Tower of Hope Foundation raises money to underwrite the cost of training assistance animals to help humans in need. According to their website: "This will keep the memory of Tom alive by confronting hopelessness with optimism, making a difference one person at a time."
|GROUND ZERO UPDATE
New Voices on Ground Zero Heath Care
Some new voices in Congress joined the debate on Ground Zero health this week. Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY, shown at left), Chair of the House Government Management, Organization, and Procurement subcommittee, held a hearing Wednesday to continue the Subcommittee’s oversight of the federally funded WTC health programs. Read more details on the hearing in a press release from Rep. Towns. Echoing a chorus of his fellow Democrats and lone New York Republican Vito Fossella, Rep. Towns told the hearing: "the programs are running out of money and will have to shut down if this shortfall isn't addressed. We have a temporary fix from the administration, which is helpful, but we need something more permanent,” as quoted in Associated Press coverage. Assistant Health Secretary Dr. John Agwunobi, the Bush Administration’s point man for Ground Zero Health said the money would last longer than Rep. Towns estimates, but added his office has not yet completed a report describing how the federal government can best provide care. In an interview with the New York Daily News, Agwunobi wouldn't identify the data his task force was considering beyond studies published by various monitoring and treatment programs. He said the report would be ready this month, so stay tuned to VOICES e-Newsletter for updates... click to read more on this issue.
The New York Times Editorial page came out this week strongly in favor of stepped up federal funding, including a financial settlement program along the lines of the 9/11 Victims’ Compensation Fund. "The entire nation was attacked on Sept. 11, not just New York. Congress and the Bush administration should be prepared to come up with the additional funds, and the legislative fixes, that are needed to compensate the victims," the Times writes. And the Times is putting its money where its mouth is, announcing last week that its Neediest Cases charity program has made a leading donation of $1 million to the WTC health programs. The continuing effort, known as the 9/11 Neediest Medical Campaign, also got major donations from New York Community Trust, the Ford Foundation, and the Open Society Institute. The campaign will also take donations from the public at St. Paul’s Chapel, itself a survivor of 9/11, at Broadway and Fulton Streets in Lower Manhattan. Queens Times-Ledger columnist Frank Skala suggests a novel funding stream to keep the programs running: "I challenge Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton to each use some of their many millions of dollars, and Michael Bloomberg to use a few of his billions, to show they really care about their fellow New Yorkers, and personally fund the initial stages of a comprehensive testing program for all the 'forgotten' victims of 9/11. Doing this would earn not only my personal respect, but also that of many other citizens." Click to read more on this issue.