FOS11 Newsletter, Volume #3, Issue #11October

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


FOS11 Board Member Tom Rogér speaking
last month on a panel on "Exhibits and
Memorials" as part of Teaching 9-11: The
Role of Media, Museums and Schools in
Constructing National Memory
, an event
hosted by Dickinson College and the
Smithsonian Museum of American History.

With the intelligence reform bills now being debated and voted upon in Congress, we hope that we have kept you as current as possible with these important issues. As always, in this month's newsletter we feature a legislative update. We also expand our focus to other topics, such as an original article written by a WTC survivor who represents an integral part of the FOS11 membership. In addition, Elinor Stout, one of several board members who participated in the "Hope Not Hate" panel discussions around the country, reflects on her recent experiences. We also follow discussions about the Ground Zero site with the three principal architects involved, and we review a new documentary that allows you to track the rebuilding process. And with links to a traumatic grief study, a resiliency quiz and our bulletin boards, we give you the means to measure your own progress as well as the opportunity to provide your feedback.

Finally, it should be obvious to all that, no matter what your take is on the current state of affairs, your vote counts. We urge you to show up at the polls on November 2 and cast your ballot in local, state and national election contests. It's the truest way for all survivors of September 11 to participate.

Issues Update

Legislative Update
On Wednesday, October 6, 2004, the U.S. Senate voted 96-2 to pass S.2845, the National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004 as introduced by Senators Collins and Lieberman. A parallel bill in the House of Representatives that also focused on the passage of a group of 9/11 recommendations dealing with intelligence was defeated. Instead, a House bill (H.R.10) was narrowly passed that contained some provisions that went beyond the scope of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations. These differences in the House bill must be reconciled in conference with the 9/11 Commission-endorsed Senate bill. Should this be achieved, the compromise bill will be sent to President Bush to sign into law, possibly before the Nov. 2 election. The Family Steering Committee, a coalition of several family groups, which includes FOS11 Board Members Carie Lemack and Robin Wiener, released the following statement regarding 9/11 legislation. For more information, please visit our website's 9/11 Commission -- What's New page.

Lower Manhattan Update
On September 30th, FOS11 Board Member Tom Rogér and Executive Director Nikki Stern were special guests at the premiere of Project Rebirth, a documentary-in-progress whose mission is "to document the entire reconstruction of the World Trade Center site, the experiences of individuals directly affected by the events of 9/11, and to ensure that people today and in future generations can experience the rebuilding process, and learn from our nation's ability to recover." The premiere was coupled with a presentation by the project's director Jim Whitaker and its chief sponsors, including America Online. The multi-year process is also being chronicled at the project's website at

The key feature of the documentary is continuous time-lapse photography of the site shot by six cameras. Interspersed with this footage, which begins shortly after 9/11, are raw stories of human emotion, courage and growth as reflected in the lives of people who were injured or lost loved ones at the World Trade Center. All of this is both moving and powerful and gives one of the best historic and human perspectives we have yet seen. We recommend to our members that they visit the site and learn more about the project.

Surviving 9/11
Survivors of the events of September 11 are an important part of the FOS11 family. Our membership continues to grow and more and more of those who survived the WTC or Pentagon attacks have joined us. In this article written for FOS11, Gerry Bogacz of the World Trade Center Survivors' Network details his own experience as a 9/11 survivor. Read the article.

Chat Session for Survivors
On Thursday, October 28 from 8:00-9:00 PM EST, FOS11 will host a special chat session for survivors of 9/11. Donna Gaffney, a licensed mental health professional (read her biography), will lead an open discussion on issues and topics that specifically affect those who survived the attacks at the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. There will also be resources available for those seeking help. If you are a survivor and wish to participate, please enroll in the chat. As a reminder, all chat participants must be FOS11 members.

Hope Not Hate
The "Hope Not Hate" town hall meetings have been enormously successful and FOS11 is proud to have had its board members participate in various meetings across the country as panelists.  Following are comments from Board Member Elinor Stout, who spoke at Brandeis University.

The "Hope Not Hate" forum held recently at Brandeis University, outside Boston, featured six panelists including Thomas Simons, Jr., former ambassador to Poland and Pakistan, and Ali Banuazizi, an Islamic scholar who formerly taught at Yale, now a professor of cultural anthropology at Boston College. Speaking before an audience of approximately 80 students and guests, and frankly wondering how my talk concerning my personal journey following 9/11 in working with moderate American Muslims would be relevant amidst such academia, I was pleasantly surprised to realize that "the personal story" carries enormous impact and can nicely balance out the broader, often international issues, including a short exchange on God and science! Reading the background of the American students who founded the organization of Americans for Informed Democracy (sponsors of Hope Not Hate), I greatly applaud their efforts, efficiency and exceptional zeal in bringing to over 35 university campuses across the U.S., the opportunity to discuss "How the U.S. and Islam Can Work Together." I understand this is their second year for initiating such talks at American universities. It will be a long journey for East/West understanding to make a difference, but how wonderful that our college students are helping to carry the banner.

For more information on Hope Not Hate, please visit

Upcoming Events

9-11 Memorial Victim's Quilt -- October 16 - October 17, 2004
The Victim's Quilt will be shown for a short period of time in Wisconsin in an effort to raise additional funds to complete the quilt. If any family members are in the area and would like to attend this showing, please contact Jeannie at or (239) 949-6616. Learn more.

NADA/F's 10th Annual Meeting -- October 16 - October 17, 2004
The National Air Disaster Alliance/Foundation invites everyone to its annual meeting -- survivors, family members, aviation professionals, government officials, members of the media, those impacted by aviation disasters recently and long ago, and all who support higher standards of safety and security. Learn more.

Weekend 9/11 Camp -- October 29 - October 31, 2004
Comfort Zone Camp is holding a special camp, free of charge, at Camp Mason in Blairstown, NJ for children ages 7-17 who have experienced the loss of a family member or primary caregiver. Call (866) 488-5679 or visit for more information.

For more events, please view our calendar.


October TOOL -- Taking Time to Breathe
Whether your stresses are public, private or a combination of the two, it's important to remember to take a breath. Breathing gets oxygen to important organs, including the brain, which is helpful when it's overloaded. It's also calming because breathing slows your heart rate down. To learn more about the simple steps you can take this fall to alleviate stress, please read this month's TOOL.

Marriott WTC Survivors Site
This nonprofit website was created by a survivor of the Marriott World Trade Center. Its purpose is to serve the community of people who survived the attacks. Visitors can submit a story, sign a guestbook, or post information on a discussion board. Warning: Images in the site's gallery may be upsetting to some people.

Home Ground
Based in Long Island, NY, Home Ground is an outreach and support program for World Trade Center rescue and recovery workers and their families. A wide variety of activities are available which are hosted by peer volunteers. Professional staff is also available to assist those who seek additional support to find quality services. Please visit or call (516) 286-0155 for more information.

9-11 Traumatic Grief Survey
We want to remind relatives, friends and colleagues of those lost in the 9/11 attacks to complete this survey, which is sponsored by the New York State Psychiatric Institute, the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders, Columbia University, Boston Health Care System, and Families of September 11. Your contribution of time and effort will help others in the future who may suffer from trauma and loss and will contribute to a greater understanding of the effects of terrorism and public trauma. If you have questions about the study or the survey, please contact Dr. Yuval Neria at the New York State Psychiatric Institute by phone at (212) 543-5367. To participate, please visit

How Resilient Are You?
How do you react to unexpected difficulties? Healthy, resilient people have stress-resistant personalities and learn valuable lessons from rough experiences. They rebound from major setbacks even stronger than before. Take a quiz, which was developed by Al Siebert, PhD, director of the Resiliency Center.

Libeskind, Arad and Calatrava Discuss the World Trade Center
Last month, Daniel Libeskind, the designer of the master plan for Ground Zero, Michael Arad, who designed the Ground Zero memorial, and Santiago Calatrava, the architect of the transportation hub at the former World Trade Center site, spoke together in person for the first time. The discussion was led by Leonard Lopate of WNYC radio. Read the transcript.

Engaging Lower Manhattan
Stay abreast of new development plans at the World Trade Center Site and beyond. Created by the Municipal Art Society, this website summarizes more than 15 key planning initiatives currently under way in Lower Manhattan. It also gives a broader view through a map and a calendar of upcoming meetings, events and deadlines. Learn more.

For more resources, please click here. If you have resources you'd like to share or issues you'd like to address, please visit the Families of September 11 Bulletin Board or Children of September 11 Bulletin Board.

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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