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April 3, 2013

Dear Families and Friends,

We hope you enjoyed the holiday with your families and friends. As Tolstoy wrote in Anna Karenina, "Spring is the time of plans and projects." That is certainly true here at VOICES! There is much to share with you, including information about special events and updates on issues important to the 9/11 community.

Airplane Security
Cathie Ong Herrera asked me to forward an email asking for your support of the petition urging the TSA to revoke their decision to allow dangerous objects, like knives, on airplanes.  Cathie is the sister of American Airlines Flight Attendant, Betty Ong, who was lost on 9/11 when Flight 11 flew into the World Trade Center. Cathie asks that you sign the "No Knives On Planes" petition, saying  "the safety of air travel for all of us who fly is an issue which is close to my heart."
Supporting Newtown Families
Last month, VOICES participated in a 2-day symposium held for the Newtown community, sponsored by the United Way of Western CT. We had an opportunity to meet with family members, responders, charitable organizations and government leaders. Other participants included representatives from the shootings in Columbine, the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin and Aurora, Colorado.  Since the Sandy Hook shootings, several victims' families and Newtown residents have become staunch advocates for legislation to reduce gun violence. Family members of Newtown victims also participated in television commercials supporting  NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's "Mayors Against Illegal Guns" which was released in conjunction with a "National Day to Demand Action."

Remains Recovery
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York recently announced that it is resuming the search for human remains from materials found at the World Trade Center site. Since they began the sifting process on Monday, April 1st, they have already found what appears to be a dozen human remains. The issue of remains is a sensitive one. Many of you have met with Dr. Hirsch and his staff at our annual Information Forums in New York City. For more than 11 years, they have met with our families individually, answered our questions and helped us choose a notification process. Frank and I have personally appreciated the sensitive and thoughtful manner which has consistently characterized all of our contacts with their office. The Medical Examiner's office has made the long-term commitment to working indefinitely, using new techniques as they become available, to identify all those who died on 9/11. Still today, over 1,100 victims have not been identified. We are hopeful that those families will be helped in this effort. As a reminder, if your contact information has changed, families should contact the Medical Examiner's office at 212-447-7884.

Military Tribunals
Karen Loftus, Director at the Victim Witness Program, asked that we forward you updated information on the military tribunals.  The next hearings in United States v. KSM et al (2) are scheduled for  April 22 - 26, 2013, a total of five days of hearings. Her email also provides information about cancellations and re-schedules that will be helpful to all who are considering attending the live feeds in the U.S.

As always, please contact our office if you have questions, or if we can be of any assistance.


Mary Fetchet & the VOICES Staff

9/11 Living Memorial  
Workshop Appointments

New Canaan, CT
Monday - Friday

New Brunswick, NJ
Monday - Friday

For a full schedule of upcoming workshop appointments. Click Here.

VOICES Teleconference Schedule

Tuesday, April 16th
Rockland In-Person Group 
7:00pm to 9:00pm

Wednesday, April 17th
Siblings' Group
2:30pm to 3:30pm

Tuesday, April 23rd
Witness/Survivors' Group
4:00pm to 5:00pm

Wednesday, May 1st
Parenting Group 
9:00pm to 10:00pm

Tuesday, May 7th
Firefighter Mothers' Group 
10:00am to 11:00am

Tuesday, May 7th
Parents' Support Group
3:45pm to 5:00pm

For a full schedule of upcoming teleconference groups. Click Here.

For a complete list of events
visit our website at www.voicesofsept11.org.
Upcoming Events
VOICES New Brunswick Office Speaker Series - Music Improvisation For Healing

On Friday, April 19, 2013, come and learn to play and celebrate music in community. Discover, explore and express deep listening, gentle movement and free improvisation.  Lynn Saltiel will lead this fun, free program at our New Brunswick office from 10:30am - 12:30pm. To register to attend contact Michelle Doherty at mdoherty@voicesofsept11.org or 203-966-3911. More.
9/11 Memorial Run/Walk and Family Day

On Sunday, April 21, 2013, the 9/11 Memorial will host a 5K Run/Walk and Family Day to raise awareness about the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and to encourage volunteerism. The 5K is 3.1 miles.  All funds raised in the 9/11 Memorial Run/Walk and Family Day will support the 9/11 Memorial and 9/11 Memorial Museum. Register at www.911memorial.org..
In the News
Legislators in Connecticut Agree on Broad New Gun Laws
More than three months after the massacre of 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., state legislative leaders announced on Monday that they had agreed on what they called the most far-reaching gun-legislation package in the country. More.
Judge rules 9/11 museum can include World Trade Center cross
A New York judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed by a group of atheists, ruling that a pair of World Trade Center beams in the shape of a cross can be included in a memorial museum of the 9/11 terror attacks. More.
Family Of 9/11 Flight Attendant Sara Low Shocked Over TSA Policy Allowing Knives On Planese
Flight Attendants' Union Coalition, representing 90,000 Flight Attendants at carriers across the country, has released an open letter to TSA Administrator John Pistole from one of the 9/11 Crewmembers' families. Mike Low, father of Sara Low who was instrumental in providing information to the authorities as her flight was hijacked and ultimately flown into the World Trade Center, is speaking out against the proposed policy change by Pistole. More.
Homeland Security Chief defends allowing short knives on planes
The chief of the nation's department of homeland security is defending the Obama administration's surprise decision to allow passengers to resume carrying short knives onto passenger airlines. More.
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Voices of September 11th is a 501c3 nonpartisan organization that provides information and a wide range of support services to promote resiliency and address the long-term needs of all those affected by September 11th; commemorates the lives and stories of September 11, 2001; and advocates for public policy reform to promote national preparedness.