November 16, 2007

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November 16, 2007


Dear Families and Friends,


This week I had the pleasure of visiting Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.   The university invited me to address the student body to discuss the formation of Voices of September 11th, our advocacy work and the importance of civic engagement.  


During my visit I also had an opportunity to meet with the Bucknell leadership team to learn about their campus preparedness plan.  As a parent whose son is currently a freshman attending the university, I was very impressed by their efforts to create a comprehensive emergency response plan and engage student participation.            


The VOICES team traveled to Staten Island on Wednesday to host a 9/11 Living Memorial workshop.  It was a pleasure to meet so many new families, to hear their stories and begin the process of honoring their loved ones. Again, we were touched to hear about the friendships that were made as a result of their loss on 9/11. The stories they shared were a true testament to the importance of a supportive community in the healing process.  We want to extend a special thanks to  Patricia Reilly for her assistance in arranging the event.  All of us at VOICES look forward to visiting Staten Island again in the new year. 


In closing, VOICES will be closed Wednesday through Friday of next week for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Our best wishes to you and your family for a Thanksgiving filled with joy, warmth and peace.


Mary and the VOICES Staff


VOICES programs and events


VOICES holds 9/11 Living Memorial Workshop in Staten Island


VOICES held very successful Living Memorial workshops in Staten Island on Wednesday, November 14 at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 397 Clarke Avenue. The VOICES team helped the participants to begin creating a 9/11 Living Memorial tribute for their loved ones. Participants brought items for our staff to photograph and digitize, and shared their stories. The families have requested that we schedule additional events in Staten Island in 2008. For a full list of items that we are including in the digital archive visit here. To view other family tribute pages visit www.911LivingMemorial.org


If you would like to attend one of these workshop sessions, or you would like to have us run a workshop in your area, please contact Michelle Doherty at VOICES (866) 505-3911, mdoherty@voicesofsept11.org
The 9/11 Living Memorial digital archive is dedicated to commemorating the lives and stories of September 11, 2001 and the February 26, 1993 World Trade Center bombing.


9/11 living memorial feature



9/11 Living Memorial Family Tribute to Vincent M. Boland, "Vinny"


This week's 9/11 Living Memorial feature is the Boland family's tribute to Vinny, a 25-year-old business analyst who grew up in Ringwood, New Jersey.


Vincent obtained his master's degree at Stanford University in 2000 and returned to New York in June 2001 to work at Marsh & McLennan on the 97th Floor of Tower 1.


Vincent's Memorial Tribute pages include poems, photos, quilts, details of his Memorial Fund, and tributes by his friends, as well as his business card from Marsh & McLennan. When Vincent's brother, Gregory got married in July 2006, Gregory lit a candle at the beginning of the ceremony in Vincent's honor, representing his presence there on that day.

The tribute pages contain a number of keepsakes and memories of Vincent: his family and friends came together to erect a bench at plaque at Central Park, in New York. There are pictures of childhood, friends and family. There are letters friends and colleagues sent after his death. The tribute also contains poems by Vincent's Mom, Joyce, Written every year since his death, with the most recent one written last Christmas Eve at Ground Zero, the poems help to create a true Living Memorial to Vincent.








Congressional Hearings: Government Accountability Office Says Allowing Carry-On Luggage on Airplanes Poses Risk of Terrorist Attacks


Government investigators told Congress yesterday that allowing carry-on luggage aboard U.S. airlines poses an ongoing risk of terrorist attacks. Gregory D. Kutz from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that GAO testers carried low-yield detonators, explosives and incendiary devices aboard airplanes in recent months, clearly demonstrating the increased security risk of current policies of allowing substantial carry-on luggage.


TSA Administrator Kip Hawley played down the threat posed by the GAOs homemade bombs. He

told the hearing that his organization is oriented toward defeating attacks powerful enough to down airliners. He said the government have developed other layers of protection to lessen the threat, keeping terrorists out of the country and off airplanes, adding law enforcement agents to airports and planes, and detecting suspicious behavior at airports.


Read coverage of the hearings at our website.


Spitzer Backs Down on Driver's License Plan


New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has backed down on his plan to allow illegal immigrants with valid foreign passports to obtain driver's licenses. In announcing his decision earlier this week, Spitzer said that the federal government had lost control of his borders and allowed millions of illegal immigrants into the country. He said the government now had no solution to deal with the problem, and that his license plan was a practical way to increase security and make roads safer. He challenged the federal government to fix the problem so that states won't face its local impact.


Read more coverage of the story at our website.