October 17 , 2008

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October 17, 2008


Dear Families and Friends,


This week we are posting a selection of slideshows from our annual Forum and Commemorative Luncheon on our website. I would like to thank all of the photographers who donated their time and their talents to VOICES on September 10th and 11th. Looking at the photos, I am reminded of the strong bonds that connect the 9/11 community, our need to gather in remembrance and the importance of resiliency.

As all of us continue to work on resiliency, we need to be aware that fall is a time of year when seasonal effects and the upcoming holidays can contribute to symptoms of depression. October has been designated as National Depression Screening month, and VOICES is offering anonymous screenings over the telephone from October 27 to 29 between 9am and 3pm. Contact our office if you are interested in participating in a screening or would like information about symptoms. Parents may also participate in a screening to assess if your child may be suffering from depression.

We are scaling up our 9/11 Living Memorial workshops for the Fall and are excited to be visiting your communities over the next few months. A new and very welcome development is our holding of workshops at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods in midtown Manhattan. We held the first of these workshops a couple of weeks ago and want to extend our sincere thanks to the KBW team for hosting us.

In closing, I’d like to remind you that we now have an individual guestbook on each victim’s page. Please visit a friend or loved one’s page and share your remembrances. In this way you can also help us create a truly Living Memorial.


Enjoy the lovely fall foliage this weekend!


Warm Regards,

Mary and the Voices Staff



VOICES Programs and events


9/11 Living Memorial Workshop Schedule

VOICES is hosting several 9/11 Living Memorial workshops in the coming months. The workshops provide an opportunity for our staff to work with you to create a permanent family tribute to your loved ones and document memorial foundations and other events that celebrate their lives. We also invite rescue workers and survivors to document your personal first-hand accounts. Please bring items for our staff to digitize such as photographs, memorial programs, written tributes and other information, as well as any tangible items such as quilts, artwork and other mementos you would like us to photograph. We also accept copies of audio and video tapes.  Visit our website for a list of items to consider when creating your archive.     


The 9/11 Living Memorial is a permanent web-based archive commemorating the lives and stories of September 11, 2001. The multi-faceted archive, located online at www.911livingmemorial.org includes photographs, memorial programs, newspaper articles, personal keepsakes and will include audio and video. Since launching the project in September 2006, VOICES has hosted over 60 workshops in nine states. Over 500 comprehensive family tribute sites have been created. This year VOICES set a milestone of creating a page for each of the nearly 3,000 victims, along with an individual guestbook so family and friends can write remembrances. To register for one of the workshops below, contact Michelle Doherty at VOICES of September 11th, (203) 966-3911 or by e-mail to mdoherty@voicesofsept11.org. We invite you to plan a workshop in your community or to schedule an appointment in our Connecticut office.


New Brunswick, NJ
Date: Wednesday, October 22nd
Time: 12pm to  5pm by Appointment
Location: New Brunswick Development Corporation, 120 Albany Street, Tower 1, Seventh Floor
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

KBW, New York
Date: Wednesday, November 5th for KBW families
Time: 10am to 5pm by Appointment
Location: Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, 787 7th Avenue, Fourth Floor, New York, NY

Manhasset, NY
Date: Thursday, November 20th
Time: 11am to 5pm by Appointment
Location: Manhasset Public Library, 30 Onderdonk Avenue, Manhasset, NY 11030


Teleconference Schedule:
Tuesday, October 21st
: Parents Group 3:45PM to 5:00PM
Tuesday, October 21st: Rockland County Parents In-Person Group 7:00PM to 9:00PM


VOICES Board Member Seeks Stories for Book Project
VOICES Board member, Bonnie McEneaney is still seeking stories for her about new book project Messages. The book is focused on people’s premonitions and positive spiritual experiences surrounding and after 9/11. These include signs, dreams, premonitions, and different kinds of possible spiritual communication. Bonnie is also including some non-9/11 stories. She began this project because her late husband, Eamon, who worked on the 105th floor-North Tower, had a series of premonitions of his own. In the process of talking to others, she discovered that many people have had similar experiences that they are willing to share—representing to them a form of spiritual connection. Now, after completing dozens of interviews, Messages has evolved into a book of very special stories.


Bonnie would like to hear from any of you have had experiences of this nature that can not be readily explained and would be interested in being included in the book. You can e-mail her at: MessagesBookProject@gmail.com. She can also be reached @ 203-912-1891.Due to the personal nature of the material, if your experience(s) is to be included in the book, you may advise whether or not you want to disclose your name or other identifying information.  She will be contributing to the Voices of September 11 Living Memorial project from Messages’ book proceeds.




Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008
1st Annual Friends of Firefighters Fundraiser
Friends of Firefighters cordially invites you to our 1st annual fundraiser. Enjoy live music, a silent auction and firehouse style food prepared by NYC firefighters. All proceeds to benefit Friends of Firefighters. Tickets are $200 per person. For more information please call 718-643-0980 or visit our website at www.friendsoffirefighters.org.
Location: The NYC Fire Museum, 278 Spring Street, New York, NY
Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
Fall Fundraising Event 'Billy Elliott' (The Musical)
Fred Gabler Helping Hand Camp Fund Fundraiser
Billy Elliot (The Musical)
Imperial Theater
249 West 45th Street
New York City
Price: $190 PER Ticket
RSVP by August 30th
Fred Gabler Helping Hand Camp Fund Events

If you would like to include your upcoming event in our calendar, please forward the information to events@voicesofsept11.org


In the News


Family, Friends Gather at Dedication to 9/11 Victim

More than 200 friends and family members gathered at Bethpage High School on Long Island last Saturday, October 11th, to remember late alum Peter A. Siracuse, a victim of the September 11th terrorist attacks. During high school, Pete Siracuse was an athlete for the Bethpage Golden Eagles.  After college, he taught high school history and coached lacrosse before moving on to Wall Street as a bond broker at Cantor Fitzegerald.  On Saturday, a street sign was unveiled in honor of the man described by friends as a “true Golden Eagle” who always did everything 100%. Peter A. Siracuse Way leads up to Bethpage High School and serves as a celebration of the life of a man who touched many hearts.  For more information on the unveiling of the memorial, Click here


Obama Backs 9/11 Health Bill

Last week, Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign announced that it supports an $11 billion bill to provide care for anyone who is suffering health problems from September 11th, Downtownexpress.com reported Saturday.The bill would reopen the 9/11 victims compensation fund to provide health monitoring and treatment for people who can demonstrate health problems from the toxic chemicals and dust that covered Lower Manhattan after 9/11. A version of the Bill failed to pass in the House a week earlier. To read more about the 9/11 health bill, Click here


WTC office to Tackle Neighbors’ Concerns

At a time when the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is under pressure to complete the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site in Downtown Manhattan, the Authority's WTC office is trying to balance demands for a quick rebuild with meeting the hquality-of-life concerns residents of Lower Manhattan are raising.  Complaints range from a closed block of Vesey Street and Subway 1 to construction noise that starts before the sun rises and after it sets.Although the WTC office is doing everything it can to ensure residential satisfaction, Port Authority Director Chris Ward says that there may need to be some compromising on both sides, reports the Downtown Express. “There may be times when the needs of the site exceed the capacity to address community concerns,” he stated. “The schedule needs to be [an] efficient schedule.” To read more about the community meeting, Click here


Fence at WTC Site to be Replaced

The fence around the ground zero site will be replaced in the coming weeks with eight-foot high vinyl mesh panels depicting designs of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Freedom Tower, and the WTC Transportation Hub, as well as three other office buildings. The panels will also direct visitors to the WTC Visitor Center and viewing area located on Liberty Street. To read more about the fencing, Click here.


Website Chronicles WTC Rebuilding
On October 3, 2008, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey launched a website that chronicles the rebuilding process of the World Trade Center site and September 11 Memorial and Museum.  The website allows the public to track the progress made and the milestones set by the Port Authority, and gives an intimate look at the building process that lays ahead. The comprehensive homepage also gives constant news and updates, as well as visitor information and a very in-depth layout of the new WTC site and Memorial.  Also featured are photo and video galleries, a WTC history, and information on retail and office space leasing. The website is intended to “hold the Port Authority and all of its project partners accountable” for the building of this very significant venture. For more information, Click here.


20,000 Joggers in Tunnel to Towers Run

20,000 joggers gathered on Sunday, September 28th to take part in the Tunnel to Towers run, a marathon that commemorates Stephen Siller, a firefighter from Squad 1 Park Slope in Brooklyn and one of our many fallen heroes of September 11th. The marathon outlines Siller’s journey from the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center site, a trip he took by foot on Tuesday, September 11 when he could not get into the city by vehicle.  With nearly 80 lbs of equipment strapped to his back, he made the 3.1-mile trek to help his fellow firefighters save lives, sacrificing his own in return. Every year since, more and more people from all over the world reconvene to run together in memory of Stephen and to raise money for a number of charities, many of which care for orphaned or neglected children.  To learn more about the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers run, Click here. Read the full article here.


Bloomberg Stresses Importance of Swift Rebuild at Ground Zero

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has spoken about the importance of a swift rebuilding of the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan in his weekly radio address. “New Yorkers have long been frustrated by the slow pace of progress at Ground Zero, myself included,” Bloomberg said in a statement aired on 1010 WINS News Radio. “The rebuilding effort is complex, but that should not be an excuse for inaction or delay.” Projects include the Freedom Tower as well as other commercial buildings, a transit center, and most importantly, a September 11th Memorial and Museum. Reports note that the Freedom Tower will not be completed until 2013, and while the Memorial's Plaza area will open in for the anniversary of the attacks in 2011, it will be open only intermittently for some time afterwards.


Mayor Bloomberg said that the importance of completing the rebuild is both symbolic and economic. “That’s why our administration has been pushing for a new plan that includes three key things: a simpler underground PATH station will be easier and faster to build; a commitment that puts the September 11 Memorial and Museum first; and a schedule of milestones for development of the Memorial, against which elected officials, and the public, can measure.” Click here to read the full transcript of Mayor Bloomberg’s radio address.