April 25, 2008
Dear Families and Friends,
Like many of you, I watched with anticipation Pope Benedict XVI’s pilgrimage to Ground Zero on television. The solemn ceremony brought back memories of the closing ceremony, so many years ago. I found the Pope’s presence very emotional as he blessed the hallowed ground and offered prayers of support and hope. I’d like to share the Pope’s inspirational message in hopes that it brings you some comfort and peace.
"God of Peace, Bring Your Peace to Our Violent World"
O God of love, compassion, and healing,
look on us, people of many different faiths and traditions,
who gather today at this site,
the scene of incredible violence and pain.
We ask you in your goodness
to give eternal light and peace
to all who died here --
the heroic first-responders:
our fire fighters, police officers,
emergency service workers, and Port Authority personnel,
along with all the innocent men and women
who were victims of this tragedy
simply because their work or service
brought them here on September 11, 2001.
We ask you, in your compassion
to bring healing to those
who, because of their presence here that day,
suffer from injuries and illness.
Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families
and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Give them strength to continue their lives with courage and hope.
We are mindful as well
of those who suffered death, injury, and loss
on the same day at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Our hearts are one with theirs
as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.
God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:
peace in the hearts of all men and women
and peace among the nations of the earth.
Turn to your way of love
those whose hearts and minds
are consumed with hatred.
God of understanding,
overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy,
we seek your light and guidance
as we confront such terrible events.
Grant that those whose lives were spared
may live so that the lives lost here
may not have been lost in vain.
Comfort and console us,
strengthen us in hope,
and give us the wisdom and courage
to work tirelessly for a world
where true peace and love reign
among nations and in the hearts of all.
© Copyright 2008 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Mary and the Voices Staff
VOICES Programs and events
VOICES Always Remember Fundraising Gala
As traditional 9/11 funding disappears, VOICES is finding new ways to support our programs. One of these is our first ever fundraising gala on May 29 at the Greenwich Country Club in Connecticut. We hope you will support the event. We are still collecting silent and live auction items for the gala, so call or e-mail us if there's something you'd like to donate. NBC Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams will be the Master of Ceremonies for the event, which will include comments from ESPN Host and Commentator Chris Berman and Alice Greenwald, Director of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center. Other honored guests include 9/11 Commission Co-Chair Governor Thomas Kean and former Steelers quarterback Terry Hanratty.
New Parents Teleconference Support Group
VOICES is launching an additional parents teleconference support group at the end of April. The group will meet every other Tuesday at 11:00 AM EST and will be facilitated by Judy Stotz, LPC. If you or someone you know is having a difficult time following the loss of a child on September 11, 2001 or just wants to connect with others who experienced this loss, please contact Michelle Doherty at 866-505-3911 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign Up Now for 9/11 Living Memorial Workshop in Baldwin, NY
We have just two appointments left to fill for our Baldwin 9/11 Living Memorial Workshops in Baldwin, NY, on May 8, 2008. 9/11 family members, rescue workers and survivors are invited to participate. For further information or to make an appointment, contact Michelle Doherty at VOICES of September 11th, (203) 966-3911 or toll free (866) 505-3911, or by e-mail to email@example.com. We will be holding workshops around the country over the coming year. Please contact our office if you would like us to host a workshop in your area.
New York, NY
Date: Thursday, May 8, 2008
Time: 1:00 pm to 6:00pm (by appointment)
Location: 9/11 Forward, 2277 Grand Avenue, Baldwin, NY 11510
VOICES 9/11 Living memorial feature
San Ramon Memorial Park
Overlooking Mount Diablo and San Ramon Valley in California, the San Ramon Memorial Park is dedicated to the memory of all those who perished in 9/11, especially Tom Burnett, a former San Ramon citizen who perished on Flight 93. Open to the public, the park features a BMX track, a dog park, a children's play area, a picnic area, bocce courts, horseshoes, and a baseball field. The cornerstone of the park is a large rock with a plaque honoring all those lost on 9/11, giving special recognition to Burnett. People may also purchase a tree dedication in a memorial grove. High on a hill with the wind always blowing, the inspiring vista, in combination with the beauty of the park conveys a feeling of spirituality.
On Sept. 11, 2007, the park held a memorial service at which more than 3,000 flags were placed in the Memorial Grove to honor all those who died on 9/11. At the memorial ceremony, The Oakland Tribune quoted San Ramon Mayor H. Abram Wilson as saying, "We must remember this day forever. Not just to remember those who died, but to help face challenges of the future."
EVENTS AND INFORMATION FOR THE 9/11 COMMUNITY
Whitman Not Liable for 9/11 Air Safety Claims, Court Rules
The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled that Former EPA chief Christine Todd Whitman cannot be held liable for assuring people who lived and worked in lower Manhattan after 9/11 that the air was safe to breathe.The court found that Whitman was faced with conflicting information about the dangers posed by the dust and that she had passed on assurances from the White House. "Whether or not Whitman's resolution of such competing considerations was wise, she has not engaged in conduct that 'shocks the conscience' in the sense necessary to create constitutional liability for damages to thousands of people," the court noted.
Al Qaeda's Deputy Leader Hostile to Iran over 9/11 Theory
Al Qaeda deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has criticized Iran for promoting the theory that Israel was behind the 9/11 attacks. In a two-hour audio interview on an Islamic website, al-Zawahiri insisted that al-Qaeda had carried out the attacks and that Iran was trying to discredit the organization. According to the BBC, correspondents say the comments reflect increasing hostility to Iran by al-Qaeda. Al-Zawahiri also criticized Iran for cooperating with the United States in its invasion of Afghanistan. CNN reports that the two hour message purported to be from al-Zawahiri also notes that Al Qaeda still has plans to target Western countries involved in the Iraq war. Read more on the story:
Visit the VOICES website for details on these and other 9/11 related stories.