April 6 , 2007
DEAR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS,
This past Saturday, VOICES held a 9/11 Living Memorial workshop in Ridgewood, New Jersey. It was wonderful to see so many family members in attendance who were interested in participating in the 9/11 Living Memorial project. Many families brought photos and other mementos to begin creating their Family Tribute pages for their loved ones. Although organizing photographs and other items can be an emotional experience, those attending felt the process was both comforting and healing. Our next 9/11 Living Memorial workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, April 11th at the Larchmont Country Club in Larchmont, New York.
Last week, I gave a presentation on the 9/11 Living Memorial at an archivist conference in New York City. I was impressed by the distinguished group of presenters who shared their very moving collections and spoke about their collaborative archival efforts that began immediately after 9/11. As the 9/11 Living Memorial project continues to grow, we will rely on these experts to provide us guidance. In the coming weeks, we will share tips on how to properly preserve your photographs, documents and mementos for your personal collection.
On a sobering note, advanced DNA testing techniques have resulted in the positive identification of remains this week. It is important that we all stay aware of these announcements, and be as prepared as possible for positive identifications which may directly touch us. We thank the entire Medical Examiner’s team for their continued efforts on our behalf and sensitivity to our families. Of course, VOICES is here to help through this experience.
I hope that everyone is surrounded by family and friends during this week of religious holidays. As always, please feel free to contact our office if we can be of any assistance.
| VOICES PROGRAMS AND EVENTS
Join Us : 9/11 Living Memorial Workshops
in Westchester and Long Island:
9/11 Living Memorial Workshop
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Time: 7pm to 9pm
Location: Larchmont Yacht Club
1 Woodbine Avenue,
Call or email Michelle Doherty toll free (866) 505-3911 to register.
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,
Call or email Michelle Doherty toll free (866) 505-3911 to register.
Thanks to all family members who made last weekend's workshop in Ridgewood, NJ such a success. We hope many more family members will join us at upcoming workshops in Westchester and Long Island. We look forward to helping you begin the process of creating a Family Tribute for your loved one. The programs will include a brief presentation on the 9/11 Living Memorial and opportunities to begin creating a web page with Debbie Westfal, Family Liaison for the 9/11 Living Memorial (see picture above from the Ridgewood program). Refreshments will be served.
VOICES Represented at 9/11 Archivist's Conference
Last week, the New York State Archives sponsored a symposium entitled, “Documenting the September 11, 2001 Attacks on the World Trade Center: Five Years On.” The event brought together family members, archivists, records managers, and conservators to discuss the future of 9/11 related archival and preservation efforts. VOICES Founding Director Mary Fetchet spoke about the 9/11 Living Memorial project, and was joined by a distinguished group of presenters who discussed several other incredible archival projects currently underway.
The event concluded with small group discussions to allow participants from a variety of backgrounds to discuss what they believe will be the challenges for future 9/11 archival efforts, and the possible solutions. These thoughts will be brought together to guide the work of the New York State Archives and other organizations, including VOICES.
In the coming weeks, VOICES will be passing along to you professional suggestions on how to archive and preserve your 9/11 related keepsakes and mementos.
9/11 Living Memorial Feature
September 11th Memorial Plaza, Sacramento, CA
This week we are proud to feature a multi-faceted memorial built by the people of California in memory of the 9/11 attacks. California has a strong connection to 9/11 because all four airplanes were heading to California and many of the passengers were California residents. According to its website, September 11th Memorial Plaza "is being built by contributions from people interested in keeping alive the memory of the lives lost, the families affected by those lost, the people who lived through the horrifying experience of survival and who will forever be left with terrifying memories. We remember the many heroic acts performed by ordinary people when caught up in catastrophic circumstances." Visit the 9/11 Living Memorial page for the September 11th Memorial Plaza in Sacramento, CA.
The expansive Memorial Plaza contains no fewer than six separate memorials:
New York Place (left) : The City of New York donated 125,000 pounds of wreckage for the World Trade Center to be used exclusively for the monument including two massive I-Beams from the North Tower. They are displayed atop a memorial wall.
Granite Sphere and Fountain: Each of the lives lost on 9/11 is memorialized on the Granite Sphere, the centerpiece of the Memorial Plaza. Each name will be visible as the Sphere turns, virtually floating, on the thin film of water in the fountain.
Reflection Towers: To most Americans, their early memories of the World Trade Center are of two majestic towers, defining the New York skyline. The Reflection Towers of Memorial Plaza were created to remind us of that better time.
Carillon Bell Tower: A beautiful bell tower was built for the California State Fair Memorial Plaza and began playing on the fairgrounds, opening day August 15, 2003. Its “twin sister” is on the campus of Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, PA.
Washington and Pennsylvania Places (under construction): Visit their website to see artists' renderings of the planned memorials to the heroes of Flight 93 and the Pentagon.
Click to view past 9/11 Living Memorial Features. If there is a 9/11 Memorial in your area that you would like to add to the 9/11 Living Memorial website, please contact Debbie Westfal at (203) 966-3911 or toll free at (866) 505-3911. Or send her an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
|VOICES FOR KIDS Spotlight
Featured Section: 2007 Summer Camps
VOICES is happy to showcase the wonderful summer camps that have been opened at no or reduced cost to 9/11 kids. Our listings have been updated for Summer 2007, and a new camp has been added: Camp Regis-Applejack. The listing for this wonderful camp is shown below as a sample. Click here to visit VOICES 2007 Summer Camp listings.
Camp Name: Camp Regis-Applejack
Dates: Full: 6/24 to 8/15; First Half: 6/24 to 7/21; Second Half: 7/22 to 8/ 15
Location: Upper St. Regis Lake (Adirondacks), Paul Smith's, NY (see picture below)
Details: Our warm, supportive and relaxed environment provides a meaningful and exciting experience that each camper will remember and cherish for years to come. The program is one in which acceptance and encouragement from within the community fosters a growth in confidence, an increase in knowledge and an acceleration of achievement.
Eligibility: Boys and Girls ages 6-16. Two programs: Camp Regis (co-ed, ages 6-12); Applejack Teen Camp (coed, 13-16)
Cost: Regular programs available at no cost to children of 9/11 victims.
Contact: Michael Humes, Director
Phone: (609) 688-0368;
Michael Humes, Director of Camp Regis-Applejack is welcoming children who lost a parent during 9/11 to attend the camp this summer at no cost. Additionally, the opportunity exists for any parents interested in being of service to the camp community as counselors, activity leaders, camp moms/dads, or administrators to join us for the summer. Employment would include room (usually a small lakeside cottage), board and salary along with an "in camp" child care program for younger children and the regular resident program for children 6-16 years of age.
| REMAINS RECOVERY UPDATE
WTC Remains Identified by DNA Analysis
Two pieces of human remains recovered from the WTC site in the "initial recovery effort" in 2001 have been identified using DNA analysis, according to the New York City Medical Examiner's Office. According to the Associated Press, one of the remains belonged to an FDNY firefighter whose name was withheld at his family's request. The exact location where the remains were found was not identified. The city has been storing more than 10,000 unidentified bone fragments and other human remains, including more than 1,200 found since 2005.
1,146 of the World Trade Center's 2,749 victims have yet to be positively identified through recovery of their remains. The city returned remains to three more victims' families in November, two months after Hirsch announced in a letter to families that "new identifications will be forthcoming" because of advances in DNA technology.
The delay between recovery and positive identification shows that the DNA ID process is likely to continue for some time, prompting some family members to question the pace of the work. "It just seems very hard to believe that they haven't been able to make any sort of identifications from any of those pieces" found in recent months in the areas around the site, Kurt Horning is quoted in Associated Press coverage. Kurt Horning is the father of Matthew Horning and a founder of WTC Families for Proper Burial, which is currently suing the city to reopen the recovery process for possible human remains at the Fresh Kills landfill site in Staten Island.
To read more about the ongoing recovery and identification process, visit VOICES "Recovering Remains" page.
Editor's Note: Last week's article on litigation regarding the Fresh Kills site misidentified the presiding Judge. His name is Judge Alvin Hellerstein. Norman Siegel is the lead attorney for the plaintiffs and deserves special recognition for his work on behalf of the WTC families. VOICES e-Newsletter regrets the error. Thanks to a careful reader for bringing it to our attention. A corrected version of the article is available at by clicking here.
|PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE
DHS Preparedness Directorate will be Folded into FEMA, Head Quits
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security folded its 18-month old Preparedness Directorate into the Federal Emergency Management Association. The reshuffling prompted the resignation of George Foresman, who served for fifteen months as the first head of the DHS Preparedness Directorate and will be its last.
"George is an exceptional professional who has shown a steadfast commitment to the ideals of leadership by example," DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff said in a statement quoted in GovExec coverage. "Through his tireless dedication, George helped sharpen the federal government's focus in the areas of infrastructure protection, including the security of chemical facilities, national information technology and telecommunications systems, and he has been instrumental in leading refinements to our grants processes, approaches to risk management, use of biometrics and communications interoperability."
As DHS undersecretary for Preparedness, Foresman oversaw the department's more than $3 billion first-responder grant program, the U.S. Fire Administration, critical infrastructure and cyber-security programs and the National Capital Region coordinating office. He joined DHS shortly after Hurricane Katrina when DHS and FEMA were heavily criticized for their response. Soon after, lawmakers and state and local officials began lobbying to restore preparedness programs to FEMA. Congress passed a law late last year that reorganized DHS, shifting primary responsibility for preparedness to FEMA, effectively eliminating Foresman's job.
"Mr. Foresman's resignation is unfortunate. With the DHS [reorganization] and building up of 'New FEMA,' he was marginalized and eventually had no job left," A DHS official who requested anonymity is quoted in CQ Homeland Security coverage. According to the official, Foresman seemed to be the right man for the job of undersecretary of Preparedness. "The biggest problem was the definition of what the job was... Nobody was ever really able to define 'Preparedness.'"
DHS announced this week that former Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Robert D. Jamison will serve as the new DHS Deputy Under Secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate. According to the announcement: "Robert will help lead our national efforts to protect our critical infrastructure and prevent attacks on it and improve the resiliency of essential cyber-security and communications capabilities."
Read more in the Preparedness Update section of VOICES for Change.