Feburary 27, 2009

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Feburary 27, 2009


Dear Families and Friends,


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.



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, March 3rd: Firefighter Mothers Teleconference Group 10:00am to 11:00am

Tuesday, March 3rd: Parents Afternoon Teleconference Group 3:45pm to 5:00pm

Tuesday, March 3rd: Parenting Teleconference Group 9:00pm to 10:00pm


Community Events


Sunday, May 3, 2009

The 3rd annual“Captain Martin J. Egan, Jr. 5K Memorial Run/Walk”

The 3rd annual“Captain Martin J. Egan, Jr. 5K Memorial Run/Walk” will take place at 10:00 am on May 3, 2009 at the Midland Beach Picnic Area (Father Capodanno Boulevard and Lincoln Avenue, Staten Island, NY). 

Applications are available at The Staten Island Runner www.sirunning.com

For more information, please call (718) 710-1944. 


In the News


9/11 Community Loses Ardent Activist Beverly Eckert

The 9/11 community lost a dedicated friend and advocate when Beverly Eckert died tragically in a plane crash near Buffalo, NY on February 12, 2009.
After the death of her husband Sean Rooney on 9/11, Ms. Eckert began a passionate journey to help 9/11 families and make the nation safer. As a co-founder of VOICES of September 11th, Ms. Eckert strove to provide 9/11 families with information and to advocate on their behalf. She went on to work tirelessly with several 9/11 organizations to promote peace initiatives, building safety and a proper memorial at Ground Zero.  She was especially committed to improving the safety and security of all Americans. As a member of the 9/11 Family Steering Committee, she lobbied for the creation of the 9/11 Commission and legislation based on its recommendations.  More recently, she became interested in the implementation of the WMD Commission recommendations.  Ms. Eckert was among the 9/11 family members who met with President Obama in Washington, D.C. on Friday, February 6th to discuss the closing of the Guantanamo detention center.   

Coverage of Ms. Eckert’s tragic passing was extensive throughout the nation. Here are but a few of the many articles that were written to mark her death and accomplishments:

Associated Press.
NY Times
NBC News
Daily News


Guantanamo Detainee Released

Binyam Mohamed, a detainee who has been in American custody for seven years, has been released and returned to Britain. In 2002, he was accused of attempting to set a dirty bomb in the United States. During his incarceration, he said he had been tortured while in CIA custody—allegations the CIA denies. Sources say he has agreed to certain voluntary restrictions on his release, including a lifetime prohibition on travel to the United States. See the NY Times. In a related development, a French appeals court has overturned the 2007 convictions of five former Guantanamo detainees, who were tried after their release and return to France. The appeals court ruled that interrogation methods at Guantanamo violated French rules for gathering evidence. Read the NY Times. The Times also indicates that a report ordered by President Obama on conditions at Guantanamo has been criticized by human rights activists and lawyers. The report, by Pentagon official Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, says conditions at Guantanamo are currently humane and in compliance with the Geneva Conventions. However, lawyers for detainees and human rights groups dispute his conclusions, one contending conditions “are worse than they have ever been.” Details at the NY Times.


America’s Camp Serves Kids Who’ve Lost Parents on 9/11, and Others

America's Camp is a one-week sleep away camp for children who lost a parent or sibling as a result of the attacks on September 11 and for children or siblings of firefighters and law enforcement officers lost in the line of duty at any time.


Enrollment has begun for this year’s session, which will take place from Tuesday, August 18 through Tuesday, August 25, 2009.


Provided at no cost to boys and girls entering 2nd through 10th grades, the camp is located at the site of Camp Danbee, on the shores of magnificent Lake Ashmere, nestled in the heart of the beautiful Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.


For more information, visit America’s Camp at http://www.americascamp.org/ or call (800) 548-6295.




Global Economic Crisis is Now Top Security Threat

On February 12, 2009, Dennis C. Blair, Director of National Intelligence, told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that the global economic downturn is the primary near-term security threat to the United States. Blair testified, "Roughly a quarter of the countries in the world have already experienced low-level instability such as government changes because of the current slowdown," warning “"high levels of violent extremism" and "regime-threatening instability" might occur if the economic crisis does not resolve within a year or two. Read more at the Washington Post or listen to a segment at NPR.


Obama Retains Some Bush Anti-Terror Policies

While President Obama has made noteworthy changes to his predecessor’s policies in fighting the war on terror, such as rejecting harsh interrogation techniques, his administration is signaling it may retain other aspects, including the transfer of prisoners to other countries without legal rights, and the indefinite detention of certain terrorism suspects without trials. To learn more, visit the NY Times.


In a related story, the New Yorker examines in depth the complicated, and controversial, legal issues Obama is facing concerning “enemy combatants.” To read its analysis, click here.



Cybersecurity Focus of Obama Review

President Obama has ordered a 60-day review of our nation’s cybersecurity to see how the federal government protects sensitive data with technology. During his presidential run, Obama had compared cyber threats to nuclear and biological attacks, pledging to protect our technological infrastructure. Read more at Homeland Security Today .

Tool To Create Family Emergency Plans

The Department of Homeland Security has created a clear planning tool to help families prepare for emergencies. To access the form, visit the Ready Campaign.


9/11 Health Crisis Receiving More Attention

When President Obama met with 9/11 families recently, he reassured them he would “never forget” the responders and others who became ill from the rescue and recovery operations, a stance advocates hope bodes well for the passage of Congressional legislation designed to help monitor and treat those whose health was adversely affected in the aftermath of the attacks. Obama has also been asked to reappoint Dr. John Howard, the 9/11 health coordinator who had been removed by the Bush Administration. In a related story, Manhattan federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein has stated the first of thirty 9/11 health-related trials will begin in May. He hopes decisions in these thirty cases will pave the way for settlements in hundreds of other outstanding cases.

Read more at Downtown Express, the NY Times, and Fox News.


Memorial to Flight 93 Moving Forward

A memorial dedicated to the 40 passengers and crew killed on United Flight 93 should be completed at the Western Pennsylvania crash site in time for the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. Learn more via the Associated Press.