FOS11 Newsletter, Volume #3, Issue #2January 2004

Welcome | Issues Update | Upcoming Events | Resources | Contact Us | Donate

Families of September 11 is now operating as the For Action Initiative. The web pages on this site are available for informational purposes only. Please visit us at www.foractioninitiative.org.

Welcome

As we begin 2004, we face new emotions, experiences and responsibilities.  Now that the deadline for the Victim Compensation Fund is behind us, we have the opportunity to focus our energy on other issues.  There has been a lot happening; the memorial design for ground zero has been released, the Independent Commission is holding hearings on aviation and border security, and soon we may all be called upon to demand an extension of the 9/11 investigation – fighting to understand and account for the events that led to 9/11 and what happened on that terrible day.

There remains much work to do, and we are dedicated to relying on each other to make sure it is done.  We wish you a safe and healthy new year, and, as always, welcome your comments and concerns so that we can work as a team, with collective power, to address them.   Please feel free to contact us by phone at 212-575-1878 or by email at http://www.familiesofseptember11.org

Issues Update

LMDC – Memorial Design for the WTC Memorial
On January 14, 2004 the LMDC presented the final design and introduced the designers--Michael Arad and Peter Walker-for the WTC Memorial. As previously speculated in Tom Rogèr’s letter to you on January 8th, there have been a number of very meaningful changes and additions to Mr. Arad's original "Reflecting Absence" design since its announcement as the winning design, responding to the interests of many families.

Some of these changes were described in press accounts of the design in early January.  The full understanding of the changes, in conjunction with the addition of the Interpretive Space adjacent to the memorial, could not be fully appreciated until they were shown on the new model and explained by Mr. Arad and Mr. Walker, the LMDC, and the Governor. Linked below is a recent editorial from the NY Times that provides a description of the changes and the remaining issues we must focus on.  These issues include the details of how many of the proposed changes are actually incorporated into the memorial design, the design of the interpretive space, the workings of the foundation, and the coordination of the memorial with the rest of the rebuilding plan.  FOS11 will remain an active participant in this process and welcomes your thoughts and comments about the memorial.  Email us at http://www.familiesofseptember11.org

Click here to view the NY Times article.

September 11th Independent Commission
With only 4 months left until May 27, 2004, the federally-mandated end to the Independent Commission, we find that more time is needed to fully investigate and research all that led up to and happened on September 11, 2001, as well as to propose changes that will work to prevent similar attacks from endangering Americans’ lives.  As family members, it is our obligation to tell the Commission members that we are in support of pushing Congress for an extension of the investigation.  Currently, the Commission will not ask Congressional members for an extension without first hearing from families and the public-at-large. 

We urge everyone who feels strongly about ensuring our loved ones’ lives were not taken in vain to contact the Commission office at 202-331-4060 (main DC office), (212) 264-1505 (Family Liaison office in NYC), or to email at http://www.familyliaison@9-11Commission.gov or http://www.info@9-11Commission.gov.  If the Commission members do not hear from us, it is possible they will cancel the remaining public hearings (something Families of September 11 thinks would seriously hinder the Commission and the public from getting vital information), and will not have enough time to create a full and complete report.  Your help is needed to protect the future safety of all Americans.

Update on the Hamburg Mzoudi Trial
Contrary to our expectations, the court temporarily postponed the verdict in the Hamburg Mzoudi terrorist trial in order to hear additional testimony regarding the possible interaction involving El-Quaeda, Iran, the terrorist wing of Hezbollah, and the defendants’ alleged involvement.

After the court appearance of the Director of the German CIA and an official of the German FBI, the judge declared that statements made by inner circle leaders in the Hamburg cell did not specifically inculpate Mzoudi.  The Court then released Mzoudi from custody, although the witnesses did not exonerate the defendant.

During the closing statements of all parties, the Federal Prosecutor surprised the Court by submitting the written testimony of a former Iranian Intelligence agent who had defected first to the US Embassy in Baku in July 2001.  When he could not collect the financial compensation he claimed was due to him by the CIA, he re-defected to France. This defector alleges to have warned the US about an impending major terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, without mentioning any specific location or cause.

At the present, the defector has suddenly offered himself to the German Prosecutors as a witness - on the basis of a fuzzy e-mail he had allegedly received from a former colleague in Iran warning him that a freed Mzoudi was in danger of being assassinated by his former terrorist friends.  The Court has ordered the Federal Prosecutor to produce this witness at its next session in order to consider the authenticity of those statements. 

Families of September 11 - Monthly TOOL for Families
Families of September 11 is proud to introduce a new feature of our monthly newsletter called  “TOOLS.”  In our process of moving on from the grief and loss that devastated us on September 11th, we have found that there are some tools (activities, exercises, etc.) we can use to make our journey a bit easier.  Traditional counseling is not for everyone.  Although support groups and alternative therapies may be more appealing, time can prevent us from participating in these activities.  We have spent a great amount of time investigating and researching healing interventions that we want to share with you.  Each month we will feature a different exercise designed to help us focus on our lives assist us in our search to find peace.  At the end of the year, we will compile all the exercises and offer them to you in a booklet for future references.  Each exercise will also be available on our website and we welcome your feedback and suggestions on methods which you have found helpful.  Email us your thoughts at http://www.info@familiesofseptember11.org.   Learn about January's tool on feelings by clicking here.

Upcoming Events

September 11th Independent Commission: Public Hearing on Borders and Transportation – January 26-27, 2004
The 9-11 Commission held its seventh public hearing on January 26-27 in Washington, DC.  The investigative hearing developed facts and circumstances relating to border and aviation security – two central aspects of the Commission’s mandate.  The hearing was open to the public and the media.  For more information about the hearing, please visit http://www.9-11commission.gov.  Testimony and staff statements will be posted on the Commission’s website as it becomes available. 

Freedom Quilt – New Jersey
If you have as of yet not received a Freedom Quilt please contact Kevin Duffy at Catholic Charities.  Kevin is setting up an event for families who have not received a quilt.  Please be advised that this event will be held in New Jersey (Morristown and Monmouth County) and is tentatively scheduled for the weekend of February 6th – 7th. Anyone interested should contact Kevin Duffy by email at http://www.kduffy@catholicharities.org or by phone number at 973-777-7958.

Victims’ Quilt - Florida
The Victims Quilt is being brought to Naples, Florida.  A fundraiser will be hosted in Naples and all families are invited to attend.  The organization recognizes that there are many September 11th families in Florida – especially at this time of year. All are encourage to view the quilt.  To learn more about this event, please contact Jeannie Ammermann by phone at 239-949-6616 or Bonnie Clark by phone at 239-495-7516.  If you would like to help with the event, there are plenty of things that need to be done!  Call or email them at http://www.quiltmaker.comcast.net

Resources

Victims Compensation Fund
Dennis McKeon is doing a follow up on the Victims Compensation Fund. If you know of anyone who missed the deadline (For either death or injury benefits.), please let him know or have the person contact Dennis directly.  With all of the outreach to families, Dennis would like to better understand why those who had the intention of filing missed the 12/22/03 deadline.  Dennis can be reached by phone at 732-392-5497.

How to reach your elected officials
One of the best ways to get your point of view to members of Congress is through a personal letter. Elected officials pay close attention to the mail they receive because every letter represents a certain portion of their constituency. Many elected officials now have e-mail addresses. This web page has email addresses, mailing address and home page links of U.S. Senators organized by state. http://www.ussenate.com/email.htm.  Another web page that has email addresses, mailing address and home page links of U.S. Senators organized by Senators' last names: http://www.senate.gov/contacting/index.cfmPlease click here to learn more about the protocols when writing your elected officials

Mini grants for Join Hands Day
Up to 75 mini-grants are available to youth-led volunteer projects on Join Hands Day, May 1, 2004. The $250-$500 mini-grants are offered to youth, to age 25, through the Youth & Family Outreach Department of the Points of Light Foundation. While Join Hands Day supports youth-adult partnerships, this mini-grant opportunity encourages young people to take the lead. Applications are due February 2, 2004.  America’s Fraternal Benefit Societies, in partnership with the Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network, sponsor Join Hands Day. Their goal is to develop relationships between young people and adults while they tackle a problem in their neighborhoods to make something better. They work together on an equal basis to plan, organize and implement the day’s activities.  To be eligible for a mini-grant, the application must come from an organization. Individuals who wish to apply need to partner with an organization.  For more information about Join Hands Day and how to develop a project, visit their http://www.joinhands.org or call toll-free 1-877-OUR-1DAY. For answers to additional questions, contact Youth & Family Outreach at the Points of Light Foundation at 202-729-8135 or e-mail http://www.youthandfamily@pointsoflight.org.

Mental health programs and outlets for Families
September 11th Fund Health Insurance Subsidy Program
Working Today has partnered with the September 11th Fund to make available subsidies to individuals left un- or underemployed as a result of September 11th, 2001. The Fund has agreed to reimburse a set amount each month toward eligible individual’s health insurance premiums for up to twelve months. Those eligible for the nationwide program include surviving immediate family members and seriously physically injured individuals and their families. For more information, please call (866) 689-HELP or visit http://www.workingtoday.com/about/911fund.php

Family Health Plus
Family Health Plus is available to single adults, couples without children, and parents with limited income who are residents of New York State and are U.S. citizens or fall under one of many immigration categories. The program provides free health insurance to those affected by September 11 and who do not have health insurance -- either on their own or through their employers -- but have incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid. Applicants must not be enrolled in any other health insurance programs. Income limits also apply. For more information, please call (877) 9FHPLUS or visit http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/fhplus/application.htm/.

Health Insurance/Registry – Bill Doyle/Dennis McKeon
Many families have asked requested that the Healthcare Questionnaire be sent to out one more time.  Dennis McKeon’s letter explains what the response was (click here.) We received around 650 questionnaires back.  That’s a far cry from the 1500 families that will eventually be in need of healthcare coverage in the future. The figure of 1500 was compiled by two organizations that did a survey for us.  I (Bill Doyle) will be having a meeting shortly with the carrier and would like to show them even more families are interested.  If you have any suggestions or questions or would like a copy of the questionnaire, feel free to contact Bill by phone at 718-948-2538 or by email at http://www.joeydoyle.com.

Remember. Honor. Hope.
FOS11 offers a wrist band, in hope for a better future. Click here to learn more.

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Families of September 11 (FOS11) is a 501(c)(3) organization founded by families of those who died in the September 11 terrorist attacks. Membership is open to anyone affected by the events of September 11, 2001. More than 2,400 people worldwide have chosen to join us.



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