November 14 , 2008

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November 14, 2008


Dear Families and Friends,


As many of you know, both on September 11th and during Hurricane Katrina, the first responders’ inability to communicate led to confusion during the evacuations and ultimately to hundreds of deaths on September 11th. These difficulties had been well documented after the 1993 World Trade Center and Oklahoma City bombings, and led to the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation to free up analog broadcast spectrum for emergency operations.


While the transition to digital television on February 17, 2009 has been well publicized by the broadcast industry, many are unaware of why it is happening: to free up analog spectrum so first responders can communicate. The switch to DTV is an important first step in ensuring effective communication in the event of an emergency, whether a terrorist attack or a natural disaster. Although the transition will not impact cable network subscribers, I encourage each of you to be informed the issue. For those without cable TV, government coupons are available to help purchase converter boxes. We have included more information below.


This week we received a request to reach out to photographers and reporters who covered the 9/11 attacks. The New York Press Photographers Association is conducting a survey to assess reporters’ exposure to contaminants and gather information on illnesses they may have contracted. We are asking our membership to spread the word to journalists they may know. Please see the details below.


Finally, the VOICES team was at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods in New York City on November 5 to conduct 9/11 Living Memorial workshops for KBW families. We want to thank our kind hosts for all their assistance. We will be holding our first workshop in Manhasset, NY on November 20. Please contact our office if you would like to join us.


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.


Manhasset, NY
Date: Thursday, November 20th
Time: 11:00am to 5:00pm by Appointment
Location: Manhasset Public Library, 30 Onderdonk Avenue, Manhasset, NY 11030


New Brunswick, NJ
Date: Wednesday, December 3rd
Time: 12:00pm to 5:00pm by Appointment
Location: New Brunswick Development Corporation, 120 Albany Street, Tower 1, Seventh Floor
New Brunswick, NJ 08901


KBW, New York
Date: Wednesday, December 10th for KBW families
Time: 10:00am to 5:00pm by Appointment
Location: Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, 787 7th Avenue, Fourth Floor, New York, NY


Teleconference Schedule:

Voices of September 11th offers teleconference groups that are facilitated by our mental health professionals. The teleconference groups provide an opportunity for those impacted by 9/11 to talk with others that share their same experience. Please contact our office at (203) 966-3911 if you are interested in participating.

Tuesday, November 18: Parents Teleconference Group 3:45pm to 5:00pm

Tuesday, November 18: Rockland County Parents In Person Group 7:00pm to 9:00pm




Sunday November 23rd, 2008
Run for Johanna
Run for Johanna will be entering its fourth year-expanded and improved! This year the group  is growing! Fifteen fearless explorers will be running this year in both New York (11/2) and Philadelphia (11/23) to honor Johanna's life. On this seventh anniversary of September 11th tragedy, we are asking that you help us to honor Johanna's memory at this year's New York and Philadelphia Marathons by making a special tax-deductible donation to St. Malachy Elementary School, a school that serves a diverse population of low-income, North Philadelphia students. Mail donation to Dan Pickens, 8217 Ardmore Avenue, Wyndmoor, PA 19038. For more information contact: picklip@comcast.net or call 215-233-2757.

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


In the News


Transitioning to Digital TV
On February 17, 2009, the United States will transition to digital television. This advance is among the vital recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, and will improve responder communications during an emergency. The transition may impact you. if your household is among the estimated 19 million households with non-digital television sets, you will have to take action to keep watching. Here is what you need to do:


If you subscribe to a cable, satellite or telephone company, you don't need to worry: your provider will deal with the transition.
If you rely on antennas (including outside antennas and "rabbit ears" ) and have an analog TV, you will need a converter box to receive the digital signal and convert it to analog. Check your television set for labels such as "DTV," "ATSC" or any indication that your set has digital reception. If your TV is less than 10 years old, it may be equipped for digital reception. If you bought your TV after March 1, 2007, you don’t need to worry.  
For those with analog TVs, the converter box is widely available. The government is making up to two $40 coupons available per household for those who need help to buy the converter boxes. To find out more about the coupons, call 888-388-2009 or go to the FCC's DTV website.


Survey will Assess Journalists’ Contaminant Exposure and Illnesses Resulting From WTC Attack
The New York Press Photographers Association has launched a survey it hopes will conclusively determine the level of exposure that journalists incurred while covering the attack at the World Trade Center and define the level of illnesses they face as a result of that exposure. If you are a journalist who spent any time at the World Trade Center covering the attack on 9/11 or after, or if you know a reporter, photographer, editor, producer, technician or any other journalist who covered the story, please visit the survey site to complete the questionnaire.


The NY Press Photographers Association website has more information about the survey and you can also and link to the survey from there by scrolling down to the bottom, right-hand side under “Activism.” Please pass this on to every journalist you know who was there. For more information, contact David Handschuh, Intergovernmental Relations Chair, 212-210-2344, DHandschuh@NYDailyNews.com.


First hearing on government’s right to hold suspects at Guantanamo

A hearing by a federal district court in Washington DC about whether Guantanamo detainees have the right to contest their detention in court will be held behind closed doors because evidence before the hearing is classified. The United States Supreme Court decided in June that Guantanamo detainees are entitled to pursue their freedom through federal habeas corpus cases.  This is the first of such cases to reach a factual hearing. For more details, read the New York Times article.


In a separate development, many media outlets are reporting sources as saying that the administration of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama will conduct a systematic review of the cases of the Guantanamo detainees. Read more.