Feburary 26, 2009

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Feburary 26, 2009


Dear Families and Friends,


Today we remember with sadness the first attack on the World Trade Center. On February 26, 1993, terrorists detonated a 1,500 pound bomb with the intention of destroying the twin towers. It succeeded in opening a 98-foot hole through the concrete sublevels of the center, killing 7 people including an unborn child, injuring over one thousand others, and trapping thousands more.

Those of us who lost loved ones in the September 11th, 2001 attacks feel a great sense of community with everyone impacted in 1993, and indeed their remembrances are included in the 9/11 Living Memorial.

I was reminded once again of the compassion and inclusiveness of our communities when I traveled to Buffalo to attend Beverly Eckert’s memorial service. There, all of us who served together with Beverly on the 9/11 Family Steering Committee (pictured), which led to the formation of the 9/11 Commission, were reunited to pay our respects to her family and her memory. We realized that many 9/11 families live in Buffalo and are determined to rally around those who lost family and friends in the crash. The concern and support they extended was truly heartwarming in the midst of the sadness we were experiencing.

The service for Beverly was beautiful, with wonderful music and moving tributes. We shared and learned a great deal about Beverly’s life, and came away with a renewed sense of purpose for the goals that mean so much to us all.


Many of you have expressed the desire to commemorate Beverly’s life with photos and stories. Please feel free to send your reflections and photographs to us at email@voicesofsept11.org. We will present them to Beverly’s family at the Stamford, CT memorial service, which will be held on Saturday, March 7, 2009 at [ADDRESS].


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.


KBW, New York
Date: Thursday, March 19th for KBW families & employees
Time: 10:00am to 5:00pm by Appointment
Location: Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, 787 7th Avenue, Fourth Floor, New York, NY


New Brunswick, New Jersey
Date: Tuesday, March 24th
Time: 11:00am to 5:00pm by Appointment
Location: New Brunswick Development Corporation, 120 Albany Street, Tower 1, 7th Floor, New Brunswick, New Jersey


Forest Hills, New York
Date: Tuesday, April 7th
Time: 1:00pm to 5:00pm by Appointment
Location: Forest Hills Library, 108-91 71st Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375


KBW, New York
Date: Thursday, April 23rd for KBW families & employees
Time: 10:00am to 5:00pm by Appointment
Location: Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, 787 7th Avenue, Fourth Floor, New York, NY


New Brunswick, New Jersey
Date: Thursday, April 30th
Time: 11:00am to 5:00pm by Appointment
Location: New Brunswick Development Corporation, 120 Albany Street, Tower 1, 7th Floor, New Brunswick, New Jersey


KBW, New York
Date: Thursday, May 21st for KBW families & employees
Time: 10:00am to 5:00pm by Appointment
Location: Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, 787 7th Avenue, Fourth Floor, New York, NY


Manhasset, New York
Date: Thursday, June 18th
Time: 11:00am to 5:00pm by Appointment
Location: Manhasset Public Library, 30 Onderdonk Avenue, Manhasset, 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, 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


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 one attendee he would “never forget” the responders and others who became ill from the rescue and recovery operations, a sentiment 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.