February 27, 2009

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February 27, 2009


Dear Families and Friends,


Last weekend I attended Beverly Eckert’s memorial service in Buffalo, along with ten members of the 9/11 Family Steering Committee.  In the days after 9/11 we came together with a shared purpose - to advocate for the creation of the 9/11 Commission.  After many years, we were reunited to pay our respects to our friend and share our memories of Beverly with her family.  The memorial service was beautiful, with wonderful music and moving tributes by her family who shared their memories of Beverly’s life.  We came away with a renewed sense of purpose for the goals that mean so much to us all. 


Once again I was reminded of the compassion of our community as we were graciously welcomed by Kathleen Lynch and other 9/11 families living in the Buffalo area.  As we discussed the challenges the families of those who perished on Flight 3407 will face in the months and years ahead, it was immediately apparent that Buffalo is a tight-knit community.   Their determination to support the families affected was truly heartwarming in the midst of the sadness we were experiencing.


A memorial service will be held in Stamford, Connecticut on Saturday, March 7th.  The service will be held at 11:00 am at the Julio A. Stark Elementary School, 398 Glenbrook Road, Stamford, CT.  We will present a book commemorating Beverly’s life with the notes that many of you have sent to us.  If you would like to offer your condolences please write to us at email@voicesofsept11.org.  Cards and photographs can be mailed to Voices of September 11th, 161 Cherry Street, 2nd floor, New Canaan, Connecticut  06840.


In closing, yesterday was the sixteenth anniversary of the February 26, 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.  Our thoughts were with the family and friends of those affected as they commemorated the day. 


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: Thursday, March 26th
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.