December 22 , 2008

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December 22, 2008

Dear Families and Friends,


The holidays are always a time of reflection.  One of the season’s greatest pleasures is taking time to thank the wonderful individuals who have made important contributions to VOICES over the past year.  We especially appreciate our dedicated volunteers who have generously donated their time and our Board of Directors and Advisory Board who have successfully guided the organization.  We are also grateful to those in the 9/11 community who have attended our events, supported our work and participated in the creation of the 9/11 Living Memorial Project. 


As another year comes to a close, all of us at VOICES send our best wishes to you for a safe and wonderful holiday season and coming New Year.  May your holiday be filled with peace, hope and joy! 


Our offices will be closed from Thursday, December 25th through Thursday, January 1. We will reopen Friday, January 2, 2009.  We look forward to seeing you in the new year!


Warm Regards,

Mary and the Voices Staff


VOICES Programs and events

9/11 Living Memorial Workshop Schedule

VOICES is putting together its workshop schedule for 2009. If you would like us to come to your neighborhood, please contact us so we can consider including it in our schedule for the coming year. For more information, or to register for the workshops below, contact Michelle Doherty at VOICES of September 11th, (203) 966-3911 or by e-mail to mdoherty@voicesofsept11.org. You can also schedule an individual Living Memorial appointment at our Connecticut office.


New Brunswick, New Jersey

Date: Tuesday, January 27th

Time: 11:00am to 5:00pm

Location: DEVCO, 120 Albany Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey


KBW, New York
Date: Thursday, January 29th for KBW families
Time: 10:00am to 5:00pm by Appointment
Location: Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, 787 7th Avenue, Fourth Floor, New York, NY


KBW, New York
Date: Thursday, February 12th for KBW families
Time: 10:00am to 5:00pm by Appointment
Location: Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, 787 7th Avenue, Fourth Floor, New York, NY


Manhasset, New York
Date: Tuesday, February 17th
Time: 11:00am to 5:00pm by Appointment
Location: Manhasset Public Library, 30 Onderdonk Avenue, Manhasset, NY 11030




January 9th, 2009

An Evening of Laughter Will Benefit Brother-2-Brother

You can help those suffering from illness after working at the WTC site, as well as troops fighting the war on terror, by attending an evening of comedy at the HA! Comedy Club in New York City on Friday, January 9th, from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Tickets are $20.00 and 100% of the ticket price will benefit Brother-2-Brother. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.adamsangels.org.


In the News


Christmas Eve Mass at WTC Site

Father Brian Jordan will celebrate Midnight Mass by the WTC site on December 24. He has asked worshippers to gather by 11:45 so Mass can begin exactly at midnight. It is expected to last 30 minutes. A secure location will be available on Church Street between Cortland and Vesey Streets. All are welcome.


New Location for Christmas Tree Honoring 9/11 Victims

A Christmas tree honoring 9/11 victims has been placed on the corner of Liberty Street and Greenwich Street in New York City, next to the bronze Firefighter’s Memorial and near the World Trade Center site. Family members feared a tree might not be possible this year, since the new Family Room cannot accommodate one. Thanks to the efforts of Rosemary Cain and Rose Foti of WTC Families for Proper Burial, as well as the local firehouse, the tree has been erected and decorated. Ornaments used in previous years decorate the tree again this year.


New Location for WTC Site Family Room
The smaller Family Room that has been housed at various locations around the WTC site has been moved by the Port Authority due to construction at the site. The Port Authority has provided a secured area very close to the site at the corner of Carlisle and Washington, just a block away from the current Liberty Street location. The new space is available to families 7 days a week from 9:00am until 6:00pm. You will need a valid Medical Examiner identification or your loved one's P or T number to allow you to visit. To read the letter from the WTC Families For Proper Burial click here.


Teenager Raises $800 for VOICES

Jillian Rossi is a remarkable teenager. A senior at Lehigh Valley Charter High School, Jillian organized a fundraiser for VOICES of September 11th that raised nearly $800. It all began on September 11th, 2001, when Jillian realized that her beloved cousin might be at the World Trade Center. She and her family will never forget the panic they experienced. Fortunately, he was discovered safe and sound, but Jillian was so frightened, she felt enormous sympathy for all those who were lost, and all those who loved them. Her heart is still with them, and New York.


She remained true to her dedication when the time came to conduct her graduation project. At first she thought about having a school assembly but quickly realized raising funds for victims’ families would be more productive. After investigating various organizations, Jillian selected VOICES, and we are very grateful she did. A singer herself, Jillian enlisted the entertainment talent of Lehigh Valley Charter High School alum Kristen Morgenstern, another great singer, as well as local DJ Brian McKay and country artist Buddy B. She promoted the event on the radio, in church bulletins, and through word of mouth. The event was a huge success—sold out, with over 130 guests filling the hall.


In addition to the entertainment, an opening prayer was offered by Monsignor Edward Zemanik. The Mayor of Easton, Sal Panto, presented Jillian with a well-deserved commendation. As Mayor Panto said, and as Jillian firmly believes, we must never forget the people whose lives were lost that day. It’s easy to push these painful thoughts aside as time goes by, but the memories are important to preserve, to honor the victims and to try as best we can to prevent future disasters.


Center for New Media Teaching and Learning Launches Project Rebirth Web Site

In an effort to honor 9/11 victims and first responders, Columbia University and Georgetown University have combined forces in Project Rebirth, which aims to educate students and future generations about “the human response to the devastation of the attacks.” Last week, Columbia University’s Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) launched a web site with information about the project, including courses taught by leading figures in clinical psychology, psychiatry, social work and nursing, among others, VITAL at the School of Social Work. The Project Rebirth Center is scheduled to open in 2010, the same year the Project’s documentary film will be released.  The Center will provide therapeutic, educational and training resources on grief and trauma suffered by victims of and first responders to major disasters. To learn more about Project Rebirth, please visit www.projectrebirth.org.


Bush Provides Contingency Plans to Obama in Case of Emergency

In an unprecedented effort to prepare in case crisis erupts during President-elect Obama’s first weeks in office, the Bush Administration has outlined more than a dozen contingency plans designed to provide the incoming team with guidance and options. The plans reflect both the outgoing and incoming administrations’ determination to protect the nation during this transition of power. Read more in the New York Times.


Portugal Willing to Resettle Guantánamo Detainees

Portugal has expressed its willingness to resettle some Guantanamo detainees and is encouraging other members of the European Union to do the same. The United States welcomed the announcement, as did detainee lawyers and human rights groups. The offer may advance the Obama Administration’s desire to close the facility. Read more at the New York Times.


Ground Zero Rebuilding May be Delayed by Recession

The economic challenges facing the nation are likely to affect the rebuilding of the WTC site. Delays have already plagued the project, which now has to cope with a fragile property market. Debt financing has evaporated, and the ability of potential occupants such as banks and financial firms to commit to office space is now uncertain. Raising needed capital in this difficult economic environment is difficult to time. Read more at the Wall Street Journal


Families of 9/11 Victims Urge Open Trial against Airlines

Last week, three families of victims who died on 9/11 asked Judge Alvin Hellerstein of US District Court in Manhattan to allow a public trial of their suit against American Airlines, United Airlines, Massport and Boston security companies. The trial will focus on whether the defendants’ negligence allowed hijackers to access and overtake the planes that were flown into the World Trade Center. The families feel the trial should be a matter of public record for its historical significance. Judge Hellerstein delayed his answer until March, citing the need to decide a defendant motion first. Read more at the Boston Herald:

3 victims’ kin demand 9/11 justice

9/11 kin holding out for trial won’t have an answer until March