FOS11 Newsletter, Volume #3, Issue #12November 17, 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


Michael Brown, with his mother Ruth and
six-day old daughter Kennedy. See
Another 9/11 article in Issues Update below.

It is to be hoped that, now that the election has passed, we will be able to focus on issues and activities that are of concern to our members without the distraction of politics.

Of special importance are issues related to ongoing mental health issues (we urge you all to fill out the grief survey), the well-being of children affected by 9/11, community and school preparedness, activities related to the development of the memorial at Ground Zero (and other memorials), and the status of the 9/11 Commission recommendations. These are all topics on which we will continue to bring you information.

Although the holidays bring their own blend of bitter and sweet, we all wish for you as much happiness and peace as is possible.

Issues Update

Legislative Update
Since the release of the final report of the 9/11 Commission, Families of September 11 (FOS11) has worked with others to push for implementation of the Commission's 41 recommendations. Currently, the sticking points are related to disagreement over the scope of the budget authority vested in the proposed National Intelligence Director position. As of today, the four lead conferees have reached no agreement. It is unclear as to whether any legislation will pass before Congress adjourns on November 19. All concerned parties will likely have to begin again in the new session, pushing in partnership with the Commissioners for new legislation in each House. Regardless of whether we are able to pass a bill this congressional session or next, Families of September 11 is dedicated to enacting the 9/11 Commission recommendations. For a recent news report, click here.

FOS11 Chat Program
Thanks to all who participated in this past Monday's online chat with Chris Kojm, former Deputy Director of the 9/11 Commission and current President of the 9/11 Public Discourse Project. Also contributing were Carie Lemack, FOS11 Board Secretary and member of the Family Steering Committee, Don Goodrich, FOS11 Chairman, with Executive Director Nikki Stern facilitating. The discussion centered on the latest activities related to the 9/11 Commission recommendations. Previously on October 28, Families of September 11 hosted a chat for 9/11 survivors. Dr. Donna Gaffney, a licensed mental health professional and FOS11 Advisory Board member, explored issues and topics specific to those who survived the attacks at the Pentagon and World Trade Center. Look for announcements on future topical and emotional support chats soon. If you have any questions or comments about the FOS11 Chat Program, please contact

Lower Manhattan Update
FOS11 Board member and member of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation's Families Advisory Council Tom Rogér reports on developments in Lower Manhattan:

Recent announcements involve the LMDC's selection of a vibrant mix of cultural institutions that will be located on the World Trade Center Site, bringing dance, theatre, and fine arts to two cultural complexes.  The Joyce International Dance Center and the Signature Theatre will occupy the Performing Arts Center that Gehry Partners LLP has been selected to design and the International Freedom Center and the Drawing Center will occupy the Museum Complex which Snøhetta has been selected to design. The institutions will host other events and organizations such as the Tribeca Film Festival and the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble. Performance spaces, screening rooms, galleries, education programs, and rehearsal spaces will also be made available for community and cultural uses.

Involvement of FOS11 in recent events have included participation in the Section 106 meetings that are looking at the historical preservation of items at the site and meetings with the architects and participants in the memorial and PATH facilities to understand how the various projects are being developed to enhance the memorial. A number of important issues are being investigated involving the design of the infrastructure for these facilities and the memorial. Upcoming events include the expected announcement by the LMDC of the Memorial Foundation Board that will be responsible for fundraising and the overall administration of the design and construction of the memorial, memorial museum center and the cultural buildings.

Another 9/11
Michael A. Brown lost his father to a terrorist attack on September 11, 1985, when a Basque ETA car bomb exploded in Madrid, Spain, killing Mr. Brown while on a business trip. In this article written expressly for FOS11 members, Michael explores the issues that affected him as a nine-year-old boy and the inner spirit and resiliency that have guided him over the past 20 years into manhood. A truly inspiring tale.

Upcoming Events

Candlelight Remembrance Service -- Thursday, Nov. 18
Willow House invites 9/11 families to its Candlelight Remembrance Service in Chicago. Anyone interested in attending should either call Kirsten Randall, Willow House September 11th Project Director, at (773) 955-0655 or email her at kirstenrandall@willowhouseorg.

Healing & Recovery from 9/11 -- Friday, Nov. 19
Sponsored by For You New Jersey, this series of lectures and counseling sessions for various groups, including commuters, first responders and public employees, is geared to provide information to the public at-large. This upcoming session will be held in Clinton, NJ. In addition, a toll-free hotline, 866-4-U-NJ-9-11 (866-486-5911), is staffed by clinicians and survivor peers to provide information, material, counseling and support services.

Thanksgiving/Holiday Dinner Dance -- Saturday, Nov. 20
Camp Better Days invites all 9/11 families for fun, games, music, dinner and a chance to be together. The event will be held at Caldwell Woman's Club in New Jersey. Call Mike Callahan at (973) 748-1561 and tell him you are coming! Any questions email Beth Callahan at

For information on these events and other activities, please view our calendar.


November TOOL 
In this month's TOOL, Dr. Donna Gaffney, a licensed mental health professional and FOS11 Advisory Board member, writes about coping during the holidays. Titled "The Holidays, Trauma and Loss," the TOOL features some new family traditions you might try. Read the November TOOL.

Troop Care Packages
Many FOS11 members have contacted us asking how they can support our troops this holiday season. There are a number of options, including involvement with organizations such as Homefront Hugs (adopt a deployed soldier or family dealing with a long deployment) and Homes for Our Troops (help severely disabled veterans). Other options include sending care packages directly to soldiers who have requested assistance, including Families of September 11 member Staff Sgt. Lawrence Provost (who is seeking items to help aid Iraqi children as well as his fellow troops). Click here to find out how you can help.

Support Services for 9/11 Survivors
Willow House, a center serving grieving families in the Chicago area and its suburbs, is now offering support services to survivors of 9/11 (those who were in or around the WTC/Pentagon that day) who want connections with others in the Chicago area. It offers a monthly support group that now meets the second Tuesday of each month. Anyone interested should call Kirsten Randall at (773) 955-0655 or email her at kirstenrandall@willowhouseorg.

Health Insurance Subsidy Program
American Red Cross September 11 Recovery Program recently announced the extension of its Health Insurance Subsidy Program (HISP) from 12 months of coverage to 24 months. HISP provides subsidies to cover the full out-of-pocket cost of health insurance premiums for physically injured individuals and surviving family members of people who died as a result of the 9/11 attacks. Assistance through this program is not based on financial need. HISP can pay for dental insurance, vision insurance and major medical health insurance such as a HMO and PPO. Applications must be submitted by December 31, 2004, to be considered. Call (877) 746-4987 for general eligibility information.

Heroic Choices
Originally the Todd M. Beamer Foundation, Heroic Choices is a non-profit youth services organization that builds resiliency in children who have experienced trauma. Its 12-month program supports children, families and mentors. This free program targets children, 8-12, who have experienced trauma, which may include but is not limited to: the loss of a parent, guardian, relative or friend; domestic violence; physical or sexual abuse; drug or alcohol abuse in the home; and parental incarceration. For more information, visit or call (866) HERO-111.

If you have resources you'd like to share or issues you'd like to address, please visit the FOS11 Bulletin Board. And don't forget to visit Children of September 11, a support and resource center for those who are raising, teaching, advocating for and otherwise helping children affected by 9/11.

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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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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