June 13, 2008
Dear Families and Friends,
It has been two weeks since our first-ever fundraising gala and we are finally catching our breath! I want to extend our warmest, most heartfelt thanks to the tapestry of individuals who made this wonderful evening possible.
I would like to begin by recognizing our distinguished Master of Ceremonies, Brian Williams, whose keen sense of humor and personal reflections of 9/11 set the tone for a very meaningful evening. In addition, I am grateful to our very special guests – Governor Tom Kean, Chris Berman, Alice Greenwald, Terry Hanratty, Al Barber, the Harlem Gospel Choir and Tim Smith, who created an inspiring film about the 9/11 Living Memorial Project. Each of their contributions made the evening uplifting and inspiring.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the 350 family and friends who joined us to learn about VOICES and our 9/11 Living Memorial project. We also appreciate the large number of people who were unable to attend, yet made very generous donations to support our work. Their collective generosity is heartwarming, reaffirming and inspiring to all of us at VOICES.
As I reflect on the evening I could not be prouder of the extensive support that VOICES continues to receive, especially from those who donate their time and talents to support our mission. I am extremely grateful to Gala co-chairs Bonnie McEneaney and Melissa Thorkilsen as well as our team of staff and volunteers who went above and beyond to create a very successful and meaningful event.
In closing, our best wishes to all Fathers on your special day this Sunday!
Mary and the Voices Staff
VOICES Programs and events
Thanks for Supporting our Annual Fundraising Gala!
May 29th, 2008 was a very special evening for all who attended Voices of September 11th's inaugural annual fundraising gala at the Greenwich Country Club in Greenwich, CT. The event was highly successful, with both ticket sales and silent and live auctions generating funds that are crucial to our organization's work.
The evening was made memorable with comments by Master of Ceremonies Brian Williams, National September 11 Memorial & Museum Director Alice Greenwald, and ESPN Anchor Chris Berman, as well as Terry Hanratty and 9/11 Commission Chair Governor Thomas Kean. A stellar performance by the Harlem Gospel Choir rounded off the event.
Slideshows from the gala can be viewed at our website. The video about the 9/11 Living Memorial shown at the event can be viewed at YouTube and soon directly on our website.
9/11 Living Memorial Workshops
The VOICES team is on the road again, with upcoming workshops in New York, northern Connecticut, and Florida. We are planning workshops in a number of locations in New Jersey so watch this newsletter or our website for updated information.
New York, NY
Date: Wednesday, June 18th
Time: 11:00am to 4:00pm by Appointment
Location: Foreht, Last, Landau, Miller and Katz
228 East 45th Street, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Date: Wednesday, June 25th
Time: 1:00pm to 6:00pm by Appointment
Location: Tampa Bay Chapter of the American Red Cross
3310 W. Main Street
Tampa, FL 33607
Date: Monday, July 21st
Time: 1:00pm to 6:00pm by Appointment
Location: Wethersfield Public Library
515 Silas Deane Highway
Wethersfield, CT 06109
EVENTS AND INFORMATION FOR THE 9/11 COMMUNITY
NYC Health Department Study Finds Long-Term 9/11 Stress in Lower Manhattan
One in eight people living in Lower Manhattan near the World Trade Center were still suffering from PTSD two to three years later, with low-income, divorced, or less educated people suffering at higher rates, according to a study released today.
The results of the survey of 11,000 lower Manhattan residents in 2003-2004 were published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress. The NYC Health Department is now analyzing the results of a follow-up survey conducted six years after the attacks, and will release new health findings in the coming months.
Read more here.
Family Members Excluded from Guantanamo Hearings
In the wake of criticism from victims' families about exclusion from the proceedings against alleged 9/11 suspects, Senate Judiciary leader Patrick Leahy has written to the US Attorney General to ask what accommodations are being made to ensure that victims' families have access to the military tribunal.
When the five suspects, including Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, were arraigned last week, only one family member of a victim was invited to be among the group of observers flown from Washington DC to attend the arraignment. The group included hand-picked American and foreign journalists. Said Senator Leahy: "I had hoped we had achieved a level of respect for victims' rights that would respect their dignity and interests. I am writing to you to urge you to help remedy these matters without delay."
The trials are taking place at a $12 million legal complex close to the detention camp at Guantanamo. There has been intense media attention around the hearings, especially the first appearance by Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, who claimed that he had been tortured and added, when asked if he understood that he was facing the death penalty, that he had been looking to become a martyr for a very long time. He also indicated that he would be legally representing himself.
The military tribunal is unique and the proceedings promise to be extraordinary on a number of levels, with public criticism from human rights activists, the issues surrounding the rights of prisoners at Guantanamo, and complaints from defense lawyers from Khaled Sheikh Mohammed's co-defendants that he is intimidating them.
Visit our website for selected media coverage and analysis of the arraignments, as well as reporting on victims' rights issues and families' reactions to the proposed tribunals.
9/11 Exhibit Opens in France on D-Day Anniversary
A museum in Caen, France, that documents the D-Day landings has just unveiled a major exhibit on 9/11 entitled "September 11: A Global Moment." The major exhibit runs from June 6 to December 31, 2008 at le Memorial de Caen. The exhibit opened on D-Day, a day previously reserved for the solemn commemoration of the Allied landings on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944. Artifacts from the New York State Museum on display in Caen include a crushed police jeep, pieces of fuselage from the hijacked planes and images from before, during and after September 11, 2001. Read more about the exhibit at the Voices website.