June 22 , 2007
DEAR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS,
We are busy finalizing our plans for the VOICES September 10th and 11th events in New York City. This years program will focus on the 9/11 Living Memorial project, commemorating the lives and stories of 9/11. Next week, we will distribute important information on hotel accommodations exclusively available to VOICES members.
In today’s newsletter we are featuring a heartwarming family tribute in memory of Leah Oliver. Leah’s mother, Elizabeth attended our 9/11 Living Memorial workshop recently held in Boston. If you are interested in hosting a workshop in your area or would like to begin the process of creating a family tribute page for your loved one, please contact our office.
As always, feel free to contact us if we can be of any assistance.
| VOICES PROGRAMS AND EVENTS
VOICES Seeks Communications Director
VOICES is currently seeking a communications director to supervise external communications and press relations. If you or someone you know may be interested in the position, please read more in the Jobs section of our website.
Save the Date: VOICES September 11th Commemorative Events
Marriott Financial Center Hotel, New York City
9/11 Living Memorial Feature
Family Tribute to Leah Oliver
Although she grew up as a small town girl in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, Leah Oliver had a taste for the vigor and opportunity of life in New York City. After graduating from Columbia University, Leah began working at the World Trade Center for Marsh & McLennan, “the job of her dreams,” according to her mother, Elizabeth. Elizabeth recalls that Leah “felt on top of the world.” Just one day shy of her 25 th birthday on September 11 th, Leah always worked hard but never forgot to “play hard” and savor the city life.
Leah’s tribute page reveals that behind this ambitious and spirited young lady was a ceaseless devotion to her loving circle of family and friends. On her tribute page, photographs, letters, and poems touchingly depict the pride and joy that Leah brought to their lives. Whether it was planning a trip to New York City for her parents or spending time at a family celebration, Leah’s affection for her family and friends was obvious. Her passion and enthusiasm inspired all of those close to her.
Leah’s mother writes: “She always found time to connect with family and friends and share knowledge and experiences with flair…I’m so grateful for memories of fun, laughter, and vacation times and the journey we shared.”
Leah’s Uncle Joe expresses a similar affection: “The love in your heart did not know any limitations. You loved life. You loved your family. You loved your friends. You loved your fellow man. You loved your work. You loved our planet and all that was in it. In your own subtle and unobtrusive way you showed me how to live my life.”
Leah’s family has established a scholarship in her name, the Leah E. Oliver Memorial Scholarship. Reflecting the spirit of Leah’s life, this scholarship is given at the high school level to a young lady who is involved with athletics, is in the top percentage of her class, and is pursuing a degree in the engineering or computer science fields. To read more, please visit Leah Oliver’s Family Tribute page. To add your loved one's story to the 9/11 Living Memorial, please contact us.
|VOICES FOR KIDS Spotlight
One-Man Bike Tour Raises Money for 9/11 Kids
A German police officer whose heart was touched by meeting 9/11 kids in 2002 has decided to give back by riding his bike 2,700 miles across the country. Robert Diener, 41, of Berlin (left) left Boulder, Colorado on May 24 and is scheduled to arrive in New York City next Tuesday. “When I saw those faces and eyes of the children, for me it was very sad. I was emotionally moved. I said to myself, ‘I want to be a part of this. I want to help these children.’ I thought the best way to express myself was to ride a bicycle across the United States,” Diener is quoted in The Newton Kansan newspaper. He took a year off from work and made contacts Stateside to make his dream a reality. Diener's route so far has taken him through Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia at a steady clip of 55 miles per day read more. You can check in on his progress on his diary of the tour.
Diener is bearing the cost of the ride himself, and encouraging anybody who wishes to support him to visit his web page for the project, www.gofor911kids.com. All proceeds will benefit Tuesday's Children, the 9/11 charity chosen by Diener because of its mentorship and other programs for young people affected by 9/11. Diener has made many friends on his mission of support, pitching a tent in the back yards of friendly families and occasionally splurging on a hotel room. “This being 2007, I don’t think it’s too late to help these children,” Diener said in The Kansan. “Those who lost family member in the tragedy still need help.” VOICES couldn't agree more and applauds Robert Diener for his heart (and lung!) felt mission of support and awareness. For more information on resources for 9/11 kids, teens and caregivers, visit the VOICES for Kids website.
| EVENTS AND INFORMATION FOR THE 9/11 COMMUNITY
Friday, June 29, 2007
Feel The Music! Benefit Concert
Location: Saint Peter's Church 54th Street & Lexington Avenue New York, NY
RSVP: to Lucia at (212) 669-6126 by June 25th
Featuring the Arturo O'Farrill Sextet, and performances by students and Feel the Music! faculty: music, dance, jewelry and art. This show of works, including three completed videos from the video production workshop, was created by students in the 2006-7 year. This special event celebrates the successful second year of the Feel the Music! program and looks ahead to the coming year of music workshops, events, lessons and concerts.
|WTC Health Update
WTC Health Plays Role in Michael Moore's New Film
Sick 9/11 First Responders Featured
Love him or hate him, Michael Moore's documentaries get noticed. In his new film "Sicko," Moore turns his lens on 9/11 health woes as part of an expose of the massive, and Moore would say dysfunctional, U.S. health care system. The film features 9/11 first responders suffering from ailments related to their work at Ground Zero but unable to get the health care they need. In a highly publicized move, Moore took the three responders with him to Cuba, whose socialized medical system he considers a model. They were given free health care in Cuba and found medicines available for a fraction of their stateside cost. Advance reviews for the film are generally positive, and Lions Gate films has moved up the release date in selected cities to take advantage of the "buzz." Two of Moore's films, Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11, set attendance and revenue records for documentaries. "Sicko" will likely continue that trend and bring the vital issue of WTC health to a larger, national audience. Read more in the following web resources and VOICES Health Effects section:
List of cities and theaters showing "sneak previews" of "Sicko" this Saturday, June 23
6.22.07 Michael Moore's "Sicko" Summer (CNBC weblog)
5.26.07 Ill ground zero workers: U.S. failed to help (Los Angeles Times)
Clinton Tries to Clear the Air at Hearing on EPA
Eagerly anticipated Congressional hearings into the Environmental Protection Agency's assurances in 2001 that air in the WTC area was safe kicked off this week. A Senate panel chaired by Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), left, questioned James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, on the EPA's actions and on the role Bush Administration officials had in the agency's public statements on air quality. "I recognize that EPA and everyone else involved were operating under unprecedented and extremely difficult circumstances," Sen. Clinton is quoted in New York Sun coverage. "But I simply cannot accept what appears to have been a deliberate effort to provide unwarranted assurances — at the direction of the White House — to New Yorkers about whether their air was safe to breathe."
Click here to read more on this issue on the VOICES Health Effects page
In related news:
6.21.07: Senators Clinton and Schumer Announce $55 Million for WTC Health (Read Press Release)
6.21.07: Report Says U.S. Misled City on Dust From Ground Zero (Read New York Times Article)
6.12.07: WTC Health Woe Reports Taper Off (Read Associated Press Article)