May 23, 2008

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May 23, 2008


Dear Families and Friends,


As you can imagine our staff and volunteers are busy finalizing details for next weeks "Always Remember" Fundraising Gala.  We have had a wonderful response on many levels – individuals who have generously donated their time as volunteers and committee members or provided an exciting array of auction items. The many ways people have reached out are reminiscent of the days following 9/11 when our communities came together to support our families.  Now they are supporting our continued efforts to ensure the memories of our loved ones are preserved in perpetuity in the 9/11 Living Memorial digital archive.  We look forward to seeing many of you next Thursday evening.  If you would like to make reservations, please contact our office at (203) 966-3911.  Reservations are due by Tuesday, May 27th at 10am.    
Although we are busy planning the upcoming gala, we are also looking forward to hosting a number of 9/11 Living Memorial workshops in the coming months.  Please contact our office if you are interested in holding a workshop in your area.   
This weekend marks Memorial Day, a time to honor the brave Americans who fight to protect our country. We especially remember the thousands of men and women who have died serving our country following 9/11 and their families who suffered a great loss. Our thoughts and prayers remain with those fighting abroad, with the hope that they will return home safely.    

Warm Regards,


Mary and the Voices Staff



VOICES Programs and events


Last Chance to Attend the VOICES Always Remember Fundraising Gala!

Reservations for our fundraising gala are pouring in! Call the Voices office at (203) 966-3911 or email Michelle Doherty at mdorherty@voicesofsept11.org to make your reservation by phone. Reservations are closing Tuesday, May 27th at 10am. Click here for more information, including interactive directions to the Country Club.


We have an amazing list of live and silent auction items for the Gala, and we want to thank all of those who have provided items for the auction. Many items are one of a kind, such as the framed 9/11 Firefighter stamp from the United States Postal Service. This item is truly priceless, as it can no longer be purchased by the public. There are many other wonderful items, and you can review the list and descriptions at our website.





Summer Camps

As always, at this time of year, VOICES provides information on summer camps for children and families who have experienced loss on September 11th. Visit our website to find out more. If your organization is running a camp for children impacted by 9/11, please contact us and we will include the information on our website.


Study Finds Ground Zero Workers Suffer High Stress

A study of more than 10,000 workers who toiled at the ground zero site has found that about 11 percent of the workers suffered posttraumatic stress in the first five years after the attacks, a level comparable to rates in soldiers who served in Afghanistan. The report, published by the Mount Sinai Medical Center, notes that many of the workers suffered from high rates of depression and alcohol abuse and suffered disturbing flashbacks and recurring nightmares. The report follows a study released May 2 that found that social workers who counseled people after 9/11 were at risk for secondary trauma. Read more details of the studies on our website.


Developments on Prosecutions of 9/11 Suspects

A Justice Department audit issued this week on interrogations at three overseas military bases says FBI agents left interviews where harsh tactics were being used by other U.S. officials against suspects, and raised concerns with their superiors about the legality of what was happening.The report says that in 2002, after the capture of two alleged principal planners in the 9/11 attacks, FBI agents raised concerns to the Justice Department about interrogation tactics being used by the Defense Department and the CIA . The CIA has acknowledged using waterboarding. These interrogation techniques continued after the FBI's concerns were raised.

The report details some of the methods used by the Defense Department and the CIA against detainees such as Mohamed al Qahtani, against whom charges have been dismissed. There has been media speculation that charges were dropped because of the interrogation techniques to which he was subjected.


In other related news, the military lawyer for one of the five detainees against whom death penalty charges are proceeding is seeking a delay of the June 5 date set for his arraingment, citing lack of access to his client as a reason for the request. Visit our website for coverage of this issue.