FOS11 Newsletter, Volume #3, Issue #6May 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


Newly appointed FOS11 Executive Director
Nikki Stern and Board President MaryEllen
Salamone pictured in the FOS11 office.

There are many things going on this month that we would like to share with you. As you may already know, the 9-11 Independent Commission will hold hearings in New York City on May 18th and 19th. May’s newsletter also includes an update on the Families of September 11’s (FOS11) outreach to Spain’s 3/11 families, the announcement of an award to FOS11 from the Civil Justice Foundation, as well as information about FOS11’s participation in a far-reaching grief study with the New York State Psychiatric Institute and the National Institute of Post-Traumatic Stress.

The upcoming 9-11 Commission hearings in New York are important ones and may also be the most difficult. We know these hearings are on your minds. In order to investigate the adequacy of the responses of various agencies and departments, the actual events of that day will be described in detail and, in some cases, accompanied by visual presentations. We will once again revisit the horror and be called upon to rise above it in order to support the efforts at learning the truth and implementing changes that might make some families’ lives easier and safer in the future.

Issues Update

9-11 Commission -- Eleventh Public Hearing: Emergency Response
On May 18-19, 2004, the 9-11Commission will hold its eleventh public hearing on "Emergency Response" at New School University in New York City. If you plan to attend, view, or listen to the proceedings, please be aware that information presented at this hearing is sensitive and may be upsetting in nature. Doors will open to the public at 7:30AM. Seating will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, including directions, please visit the 9-11 Commission Web site at

FOS11 Awarded the 2004 Civil Justice Foundation’s “Community Champion Award”
We’re pleased to announce that we are the recipient of the 2004 Civil Justice Foundation’s “Community Champion Award.” The Civil Justice Foundation was founded by members of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) to support grassroots consumer advocacy nationwide. The award recognizes individuals and organizations that have performed outstanding work on behalf of consumers. FOS11 and others will be recognized at a breakfast in Boston in July. To learn more about the foundation, please visit

FOS11 Advisory Board member Hans
Ephraimson, Communication Director
Caitlin Zampella, Dr. Ulrich v. Jeinsen
(9/11 attorney at Hamburg trials in
Germany), and Program Director
Paige Panzner in the FOS11 office.
Madrid Visit Summary
In late April, FOS11 Board member Tom Roger traveled to Madrid, Spain, to meet with public officials and victims’ association members regarding the March 11, 2004, terrorist attack in Madrid and their response to the needs of victim’s families. This trip was organized by FOS11 and New York University’s King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center and included several important meetings. Click here to read more.

FOS11 Participates in Grief Study with the NYSPI
Families of September 11 has collaborated with Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute on a five-year, Web-based, national study sponsored by the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder on the effects of public trauma and grief as it relates to the events of September 11, 2001.

It is hoped that this study will enable researchers and mental health professionals to understand how best to respond to the needs of people who have lost a family member, close friend, or colleague as a result of the September 11th attacks. The first survey will be activated during the six-week period between May 13 and June 30, 2004. We owe it to those who come after us into this difficult place of grief to participate in this study to promote a better understanding of the relationships between trauma and grief. To learn more and to log on to complete the survey, please click here:

May TOOL for Healing
The arrival of spring is a time of budding flowers, new branches, and recovery from the winter season. This season of new growth offers a time to reflect on what has passed and to build on the foundation you have created. In this newsletter, we ask you to draw on your experience and recovery process and share your personal steps to help others in the future. May’s TOOL elaborates on this theme of planting seeds for growth that will help you and those around you in your recovery. Click here to learn more.

Upcoming Events

FOS11 members smile together as they
complete the second family hike at
Harriman State Park, NY.

FOS11 Family Meetings on August 21st -- New York, Washington DC, Boston-area
Families of September 11 is planning three 9/11 family meetings in New York, Washington DC, and Boston. The purpose is to review outstanding and continuing issues of importance to our membership, including: the recommendations of the 9-11 Independent Commission and next steps; mental health options for families and children; new and continuing initiatives; and the further development of opportunities to become involved. This will be an excellent occasion for you to connect with other families and gather information. The date for the simultaneous meetings will be August 21st, with specific times and locations to be determined. Please email us at and write “FOS11 Family Meeting 8/21/04” in the subject line if you are interested in this meeting; please include the city of the meeting you plan to attend.

Hold the Door
Hold the Door invites families to contribute to a new publication entitled Doorways. This upcoming publication is an anthology of written works (brief essays, poems, or letters) from those who lost someone close to them on September 11th or who themselves survived the tragic events. Their goal is to create a writing collection for people to share with others how they are living with loss. The deadline for submission has been extended to May 24, 2004. You are strongly encouraged to take part in this project and join Hold the Door in their effort to help others. The organization plans to publish the volume prior to September 11, 2004. Please visit the organization’s Web site for additional guidelines at

May 25th Family Visit to DC -- Help to Support Our Soldiers and Veterans
On May 25th, family members and WWII veterans will visit Washington DC to view the first monument dedicated to these soldiers. They are also planning to visit the Vietnam Wall and the Walter Reed Hospital, the hospital that cares for American soldiers injured in Iraq. The average age of soldiers in the hospital is 19, and most of the soldiers are amputees. The group is presently collecting toiletries to bring the soldiers, as well as cards or letters of support. Any support you can offer is welcome. If you are interested in contributing to this effort, please contact the FOS11 office at (212) 575-1878 before May 19th.

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)

The TAPS program is holding its tenth annual Survivor Seminar in Arlington, VA, on May 28-31, 2004. There will be speakers as well as workshops for families. The organization has programs for adults and children. If you are interested and would like to learn more about the seminar, please contact Rachael at (800) 959-TAPS or visit

Memorial Day Race in Illinois
There will be a Memorial Day Race called Illinois Salutes on May 29th to remember Americans who have died serving their country. A portion of the event's proceeds will benefit the Military Family Relief Fund. The fund was set up to help families of military reservists who encounter economic hardship while a family member is called to serve active duty. The balance of the proceeds will go to an organization established to help people whose family members who have died in the September 11 terrorist attacks or in subsequent military actions. For more information about volunteering or participating in Illinois Salutes, call (847) 749-2768. To register online, log onto and search for Illinois Salutes 5K run.


Family members Barrie and Jan O’Prey
visit the USA from Australia and connect
with FOS11 and visit the office. Nikki
Stern welcomes them to New York and
the States.

September 11th Connections Support Group for Families in Nebraska and Iowa
September 11th Connections is a group that provides support to 9/11 families in Nebraska and Iowa. The group is for family members who lost someone or had a family member injured as a result of the terrorist attacks. It is also for people who lost good friends, as well as firefighters and volunteers who were in New York City during the days, weeks, and months following 9/11 and helped in the rescue and recovery efforts. The group meets every month in Omaha or Ashland, Nebraska. If you are interested in joining September 11th Connections, please contact the Centering Corporation at (402) 553-1192 or email Lynn Castrianno at

Canadian Documentary Film about Canadian 9/11 Families
Matt Thompson of Toronto, Canada, is researching information for a Canadian documentary film called "9/11 Families Search for the Truth." He is looking for Canadian families of 9/11 victims and specifically those who attended the 9-11 Commission hearings or are participating in the lawsuit against the Saudi government or other groups. If you are interested in participating in this film or want more information about the documentary, contact Matt by phone at (416) 534-6562 or by email at


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

Contact Us


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By Phone

General information: 212-575-1878

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.

Families of September 11 is an accredited charity and is a member of the Seal Program, which indicates that our organization has met the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. For more information about the Standards, please visit the BBB of Metro New York's website at

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