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October 19, 2007

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october 19, 2007



Yesterday we held a 9/11 Living Memorial workshop in New Jersey at the home of Loreen & Matthew Sellitto. As always, it was wonderful for the VOICES staff to meet with families to help them begin their Family Tribute pages. All of us at VOICES want to thank Loreen and Matthew for generously hosting the event.  In the coming months, we will be hosting 9/11 Living Memorial workshops in Staten Island and Brooklyn, NY.
I am just returning from a cruise to Canada with my family and must comment on the impressive security measures. Prior to departure, documents were filed and photo identification cards were created for each passenger. Once all passengers were aboard, we were equipped with life preservers and required to participate in a full ship emergency evacuation drill. Screening devices were used at each port to account for passengers entering and exiting. On a more sobering note, you have likely seen the article on how porous selected US airports remain.  This data reinforces that we must keep pressing for an effective process with flawless implementation. You can read more in our newsletter below and on our website.
In closing, I’d like to remind you that VOICES will be conducting free depression and anxiety screenings over the telephone this coming week. This week's newsletter contains information about the screenings, which are free of charge, confidential and facilitated by our mental health professionals.
As always, our best wishes to you and your family.

Warm Regards,


Mary Fetchet

Founding Director



New Jersey 9/11 Living Memorial Workshop

Yesterday the VOICES team was in New Vernon, New Jersey at the home of  Loreen and Matthew Sellitto, whose 23 year old son Matthew died on September 11th, 2001. Staff worked with families on their tribute pages and digitized photos, memorial programs, and other items.  If you would like a workshop in your area, please contact Michelle Doherty at VOICES (866) 505-3911, mdoherty@voicesofsept11.org



More Workshops

The VOICES team will be in Brooklyn, NY on Wednesday, November 7th to hold two Living Memorial Workshops.  The workshops will take place from 1-3pm and 5:30-7:30pm at Our Lady Help of Christians church, 1315 East 28th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11210.  The program will include a brief presentation on the 9/11 Living Memorial. Following the presentation Debbie Westfal, Family Liaison, will help you to begin creating a 9/11 Living Memorial tribute page for your loved one. Please bring items you would like to include on your loved one’s tribute page, such as photos, memorial programs, written tributes, and any other items you would like us to digitize. Michelle Doherty, Social Worker, will be available to assist.  
For a full list of items that we are including in the digital archive visit: Item Listing
To view other family tribute pages visit www.911livingmemorial.org . To make your reservations, or to find out about having us conduct a workshop in your area, please contact Michelle Doherty at VOICES of September 11th, (866) 505-3911, mdoherty@voicesofsept11.org

‘Preserving 9/11’ Forum Presentation

This week, we are sharing another presentation from our September “Preserving 9/11” Forum, this one by Michael Taft of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. On September 12, 2001, the Center asked folklorists and other ethnographers across the nation to record the thoughts and feelings expressed by ordinary people following the tragic events of September 11.  The Center received approximately 600 interviews (500 hours of recordings), more than 200 photographs of memorials from twenty-two states, and children’s drawings like these from the third grade class at Sequoyah Elementary School in Knoxville, Tennessee. Click here to download Michael’s presentation. The online preview exhibition at the American Folklife Center includes several examples of the childrens's drawings and seven of the audio recordings collected. To view the online exhibition, visit here.


Grosvenor Square Gardens, London, EnglandAmbassador William Farish and Tessa Jowell planting white roses in the memorial garden in Grosvenor Square on July 7, 2003.
Our Living Memorial feature this week spotlights the September 11 Memorial Garden in London, England.  The garden is a permanent memorial to those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. 


Grosvenor Square was an especially appropriate place for a memorial as the United States Embassy to the United Kingdom borders it on its west side. It has come to be known as the 'American Square', and housed General Eisenhower's headquarters during the Second World War.  A statue outside the U.S. Embassy commemorates Eisenhower.  Within the square's boundary and on its northern edge is a memorial to President Roosevelt, and on its southern edge facing Roosevelt is a memorial to the Eagle Squadron pilots of World War Two.  After the events of September 11, many people gathered at the square because of its links with America and laid flowers and candles at the Roosevelt Memorial.   It was therefore felt that this was the most appropriate place for a memorial to the victims of the September 11 attacks.


The garden contains white roses planted in memory of those who died.  White roses have a special significance to the families of those who died from the United Kingdom.  The Queen’s bouquet at the Westminster Abbey memorial service contained white roses, and each of the families laid a white rose outside the Abbey in remembrance of their loved ones. 


Busy Airports Miss Fake Bombs in Test

There was disturbing news today from a classified report obtained by the newspaper USA Today. According to the report, security screeners at two of the nation's busiest airports, LAX and Chicago O'Hare, failed to find fake bombs hidden on undercover agents posing as passengers.


Screeners at Los Angeles International Airport missed about 75% of simulated explosives and bomb parts that Transportation Security Administration testers hid under their clothes or in carry-on bags at checkpoints, the TSA report shows.


At Chicago O'Hare International Airport, screeners missed about 60% of hidden bomb materials that were packed in everyday carry-ons - including toiletry kits, briefcases and CD players. San Francisco International Airport screeners, who work for a private company instead of the TSA, missed about 20% of the bombs, the report shows. The TSA ran about 70 tests at Los Angeles, 75 at Chicago and 145 at San Francisco.

More coverage of the story:  


AOL News  

AHN News  


Report Says Detective Didn't Die from 9/11 Dust

A report from the New York City Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Charles S. Hirsch, has concluded that the death of a city police detective who worked hundres of hours at Ground Zero was not caused by exposure to toxic dust from the site.

The report contradicts findings by a New Jersey pathologies who had found Detective James Zadroga's death "directly related" to Ground Zero dust. But Dr. Hirssch said that while "foreign material" had been found in the lungs of the detective, it had not come from the trade center site.

Read the full New York Times Story here.



New York City willing to consider settling 9/11 suit by rescue and cleanup workers
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Tuesday that he is willing to enter discussions to settle a lawsuit with the 9,000 rescue and cleanup workers at Ground Zero, who may be sick from inhaling toxic dust.

The workers are seeking damages from the city in federal court, saying they suffer from respiratory illnesses attributed to breathing toxic ash, dust, and other contaminants.  Mayor Bloomberg said that they would “talk and explore”.  Visit the VOICES website to read coverage of the story.  (Click here). 


A Breath of Spring:  Daffodil Planting at Haverstraw Bay Park Patriot Garden in Rockland County, New York. Sunday, October 28, 2007, 12:00p.m.
Rain or Shine!

Please bring 1-2 dozen standard size daffodil bulbs and planting tools.
 Call for details: 
Fran Sennas, 845.358.7720 
~ Daffodils Symbolize Chivalry – They Stand Strong in the Winds of Spring ~

VOICES has moved!

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