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October 05, 2007

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october 5, 2007



This week I attended the Homeland Defense/Security Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  In addition to hearing an update on the efforts of military and government agencies, I had an opportunity to meet with many individuals impacted by 9/11.  Some lost co-workers and friends, while others narrowly escaped and immediately responded or volunteered in the recovery efforts at Ground Zero, the Pentagon and Shanksville. It was clear from their touching stories that we shared an understanding of 9/11 that others may not.   

Although September has come and gone, I want to remind you of the National September Preparedness Campaign.  As General Renuart, Jr, Commander of NORAD-USNORTHCOM remarked in his speech this week, “homeland defense begins in your home”.  I want to encourage you to review the list of preparedness tips on our website to ensure that you and your family are prepared at home and at work in the event of an emergency. (LINK

Today’s newsletter continues to reflect on the VOICES “Preserving 9/11” September 10th and 11th events with links to photo slideshows. We have also featured a very moving presentation by New York Times journalist, Janny Scott, about the experience of writing the Portraits of Grief tributes.  As a reminder, the NYT’s has given us permission to include the Portraits of Grief in the 9/11 Living Memorial digital archive.   This week we are featuring the 9/11 Living Memorial Family Tribute to young firefighter Christopher Santora.  We hope you will take time to read the wonderful tribute that his family and friends have lovingly created to commemorate his life.   

In closing, we want to extend a special note of thanks to the long list of individuals and organizations that generously donated their time, materials and a variety of other support.  All of us at VOICES are indebted to them for their efforts which made the Sixth Anniversary events so very special.  (LINK)  

Enjoy the holiday weekend.

Warm Regards,


Mary Fetchet

Founding Director



2007 Preserving 9/11 Forum and Luncheon

Each week, we’ll be sharing with you some of the information and presentations from our “Preserving 9/11” Forum.  Firstly, you can look at slideshows of the event on our site.  (Slideshows)


One of the compelling presentations at the event was made by NY Times reporter Janny Scott about how the newspaper organized the “Portraits of Grief” stories about those who died.  Click here to view Janny’s presentation.  (Click Here)


9/11 Living Memorial Workshops

VOICES is finalizing its schedule of 9/11 Living Memorial workshops for the rest of 2007.  These workshops provide a unique opportunity for families of those who perished, survivors, and first responders to work with our staff to create your 9/11 Living Memorial archive.  You can bring your treasured mementos to be digitized and learn how to be part of this important project. We will be posting dates on our website and in this newsletter, so watch this space and check our site regularly.  If you would like to have a workshop in your area, please contact Michelle Doherty at (203) 966-3911 or e-mail mdoherty@voicesofsept11.org.


Support Groups

If you would like to participate in a support group, please call our office at 866-505-3911 for further information and registration or to speak to one of our mental health staff members at any time. For those of you who are participating, here are the dates and times of upcoming group teleconferences.  All dates 2007, all times are Eastern Standard Time.  
Adult Children's Support Group: For the adult children whose parent/parents died as a result of the events of September 11th is meeting by teleconference on the second Tuesday of the month from 10:45am to 11:45am.  Next Meeting: October 9  
Firefighters Mothers' Group: For the mothers of firefighters who were killed as a result of the events of September 11th is meeting by teleconference every other Wednesday from 10:00am to  11:00 am.  Next Meetings: October 10, October 24  

Parenting Teleconference Workshop Group: Led by Robin F. Goodman, Ph.D. A.T.R.-BC  For spouses of victims of the September 11th attacks with children is meeting every other Tuesday from 9:00pm to 10:00pm.  Next Meetings: October 2, October 16  

Parents' Support Group: For parents of victims who died as a result of the events of September 11th is meeting by teleconference on Tuesdays from 3:45pm to 5:00pm.  Next Meetings: October 2, October 9, October 16, October 23, October 30  

Rescue and Recovery Workers' Group:
For those directly involved in the rescue and recovery effort of September 11th, the group meets by teleconference every other Tuesday from 7:00pm to 8:00pm.  Next Meetings: October 9, October 23  

Siblings' Groups:
For adults who lost their brother or sister as a result of the events of September 11th.  
Group 1: Wednesday- 3:30pm to 4:30pm (every other week). Next Meeting: October 10, October 24  
Group 2: Monday- 7:00pm to 8:00pm (first Monday)  Next Meeting: October 1  

Significant Others' Group: For those who were who were involved in a long-term relationship or engaged to someone who was lost on September 11, the group is meeting by teleconference on the first Monday of the month from 11:00am to Noon.  Next Meetings: October 1  

Witness/Survivors' Support Group: For those who were in the vicinity of the World Trade Center on September 11th and experienced the trauma of that event is meeting by teleconference every other Monday from 4:00pm to 5:15pm.  Next Meetings: October 1, October 15, October 22, October 29  

Wives' Group:
For women with adult or no children, who lost their husband as a result of the events of September 11th, the group is meeting by teleconference on the second Thursday of the month from 10:00am to 11:00am.  Next Meeting: October 11  



Christopher Santora


Featured this week is the Santora Family’s tribute to Christopher Alexander Santora, who according to his family was the youngest firefighter to die on September 11, 2001, aged 23. Christopher, a native of Long Island City, NY, worked at Engine Company 54.  He had just finished his shift when the planes struck, but jumped back on his truck and set off for the World Trade Center.


Christopher loved being a firefighter, following in the footsteps of his father, aretired deputy chief. He had begun work as a substitute teacher after graduating from Queens College, but worked and trained hard to get a top score in the Fire Department’s physical and written examples.  He joined the department in February 2001. He had been a member of Engine54/Ladder 4 for only two months.


Christopher’s family tribute includes letters from his mother, father, sisters, girlfriend, godparents, and friends. It features photographs of Christopher throughout his life as well as the program from his memorial service and information on fundraising events held in his honor.  Christopher is also remembered through the Christopher Santora Educational Scholarship Fund, dedicated to the continuing education of young American students from all walks of life. Visit the Santora Family Tribute.


Families Reach Settlement in 9/11 Lawsuit

On October 3, the Baltimore Sun reported that four Maryland families had reached a settlement with an airline and several corporations that they accused of “dangerous long-standing flaws” in security procedures.  The families, together with two women injured at the Pentagon and relatives of a woman killed at the World Trade Center, settled in a case that lawyers say was intended to shed light on security lapses.  

On October 4, the Baltimore Sun and the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that the families will use the settlement from the lawsuit to create foundations in the victims’ names.  Visit our website to read the full text of the stories.  


VOICES has moved!

Please note our new address: 161 Cherry Street, New Canaan, CT 06840.