FOS11 Newsletter, Volume #5, Issue #3March 22, 2006

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

This past month we have seen many reminders of the impact of 9/11 in the press.  March marked the beginning of the sentencing trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, where a jury will sentence him to death or life imprisonment.  Several family members have viewed full or part of the trial on closed caption televisions that the Department of Justice arranged at courthouses in Manhattan; Philadelphia; Boston; Massachusetts; Central Islip, New York; and Newark New Jersey.   FOS11 continues to follow the trial and make information available on the website.  We will also host an online chat after the conclusion of the trial (see below).

 
Occurring concurrently with the Moussaoui trial, the groundbreaking ceremony of the Ground Zero 9/11 memorial was held, though great controversy still surrounds the design and implementation.  Additionally, we have also witnessed the debate in Congress over security and management of critical US ports.     

Regardless of your position on these high-profile issues, they can pose some real challenges by stirring up many physical and emotional reactions.  As we continue to face these complex issues, we encourage you to find ways to care for yourself, and hope that you find support with loved ones.  We also remind you that there are still many resources available that offer free services, such as the 9/11 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program (see below), and others some of which are listed on our website at http://www.familiesofseptember11.org/resources.aspx.  Additionally, the National Mental Health Association has issued several helpful fact sheets on disasters and terrorism including Understanding Your Mental Health In Times of War and Terrorism, this and others can be found at http://www.nmha.org/reassurance/anniversary/index.cfm

To follow these stories and learn about other issues, visit our In the News section on the FOS11 website at http://www.familiesofseptember11.org/news.aspx

Issues Update

Moussaoui Trial
On March 6th, the sentencing trial for Zacarias Moussaoui began in Alexandria, Virginia.  For those family members who applied for credentials, they are able to watch the proceedings on closed-circuit televisions at courthouses in Manhattan; Philadelphia; Boston; Central Islip, New York; Newark and Alexandria, VA.  There are limited numbers of seats for 9/11 family members in the actual court room.  More information about how to obtain credentials for these seats, as well as up to date information regarding the trial, can be found at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui/index.html.

Last week the trial suffered a delay when a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) attorney, Carla Martin violated the judge’s order when she emailed trial transcripts and her personal commentary on the trial to upcoming witnesses.  She also told the defense that the witnesses, former Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees, were not willing to talk with Moussaoui’s lawyers, which was not true.  The Department of Justice is planning to begin an investigation into Martin’s actions. 

This week the trial has resumed with testimony from Harry Samit, the FBI agent who arrested Moussaoui.  Testimony was also heard from Moussaoui’s roommate.  The government is trying to prove that Moussaoui’s lies to the FBI caused the deaths of our loved ones, while Moussaoui’s lawyers are trying to prove that he was not part of the 9/11 plot, and that the government was not capable of preventing it with the knowledge he had.  If the government proves its case and the jury agrees (which could take weeks or months), the next step is for the jury to decide if the death penalty should be applied.

Families of September 11 will do our best to keep you informed on this case as it develops.

Terrorist Screening Center
Families of September 11 is dedicated to providing our members with the information they need to better understand how our country is increasing national security.  The Director of the Terrorist Screening Center asked if she could share with our members what her agency is doing to in this effort.  Below is her statement.  If you would like more information or have any questions, please contact our office at mail@familiesofseptember11.org or (212)575-1857.

Statement of Donna A. Bucella, Director, Terrorist Screening Center

"Our history is divided into two eras, pre-and post-September 11, 2001.  As a result of the horrific events of that day, government agencies were immediately created, restructured or had their responsibilities refocused.  It became clearly evident that all United States government agencies needed to work more closely together.

On September 16, 2003, The President announced the creation of the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) through Presidential Directive 6.  The Center was required to begin operations on December 1, 2003, and became the single coordination point for screening terrorist identities.  The TSC, which is administered by the FBI, has participation from the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State, the Department of Defense and the Intelligence community. 

Operating on a 24/7 basis, the TSC is responsible for coordinating and maintaining the United States government’s list of all known and suspected terrorists.  This list was consolidated on March 12, 2004, and is available to our cops on the beat, our inspectors at the border and our embassies worldwide.  Depending on the mission of the agency, the TSC makes available the watchlist to the various agency system.

In the case of a police inquiry, when an individual is arrested or pulled over at a routine traffic stop, the officer queries the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database which accesses the watchlist.  Now, a local police officer will know if the person is a known or suspected terrorist.  At the TSC, we are the link between the law enforcement and intelligence community.

Our mission is to coordinate the government’s approach to screening terrorism.  In addition, we have begun to work with foreign governments on facilitating information sharing.  Our staff works diligently in spreading the word about its mission both nationally and internationally.  The law enforcement officers know about the TSC, and facilitate the sharing of information gathered during routine local traffic stops.  This information collected is shared with both federal law enforcement and the intelligence community.  Only two years old, the TSC has much to do, but on behalf of the TSC, I wanted you to know that our government is on the right road in opening the lines of communication within law enforcement and intelligence communities."

Japanese Public Television
Japanese Public Television (NHK) is producing a documentary in honor of the fifth anniversary of 9/11.  NHK is planning to trace how the American mind has changed since 9/11 through written memory.  They will be interviewing people who have kept diaries or journals over this period, and were affected by the event.  Filming will take place sometime around July, and they are hoping to include individuals from all walks of life.  

If you are interested in participating or learning more about the project, contact Karen Regen by email at kregen@optonline.net

Online Chat Program
The online chat program was designed to bring members of the 9/11 community from different geographic locations together to connect and share common experiences.  To date, we have participants from all over the country including California, Hawaii, New York, Massachusetts, Florida, Alaska, and other states.  Regardless of the distance between members, many of the issues and concerns are similar.  This makes for a very friendly and kind environment, where members provide insight and support to each other.  The chat helps to break the sense of isolations some members may feel.  We welcome new participants to the program. 

Dr. Donna Gaffney, a licensed mental health professional and noted trauma specialist, facilitates the chats.  Chat topics reflect requests from members of previous chats or current events in the news.  However, chat conversations tend to include the topic as well as other issues that members are experiencing at the time.  Several chat participants have shared their appreciation of the chat program and many return to participate in later chats.  To learn more about the chat program visit http://www.familiesofseptember11.org/chat.aspx

The next chat is scheduled for Tuesday, March 28th from 8-9pm EST and the topic is 9/11 Famlies: A House Divided, A House Created.  After a tragedy such as 9/11, families go through all kinds of changes.  This can help to bring people together, or it can make it a real challenge to keep relations close.  This chat is open to members who have found successful ways to keep family and friends together after 9/11, and to those who are trying to make it work.  To enroll in the next chat, click on http://www.familiesofseptember11.org/chat2/membership_form.asp?chatID=0 and follow the steps.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at (212)575-1878 or chathelp@familiesofseptember11.org.  

Note:  Shortly following the conclusion of the Moussaoui sentencing trial, FOS11 will host an online chat to discuss reactions to the trial outcome.  An action alert will be emailed to make you aware of the date/time.

Our Voices Together’s Build a Safer, More Compassionate World Forums at Universities
For the fifth anniversary of September 11, 2001, the new non-partisan, non-profit group Our Voices Together, formed by September 11th family and friends, is working to recall that goodwill as part of a comprehensive approach to counter-terrorism through global engagement and positive works.
 
They seek to engage universities in organizing Build a Safer, More Compassionate World forums on their campuses on/around September 11, 2006 . These forums will highlight actions at the individual and international levels that help build a safer, more compassionate world and foster discussion of a comprehensive U.S. strategy to counter terrorism that, as the 9/11 Commission Report recommended, “includes economic policies that encourage development, more open societies, and opportunities for people to improve the lives of their families and to enhance prospects for their children’s future.” Events may include panel discussions with scholars and family members, voluntary service opportunities as part of One Day’s Pay campaign, as well as a fair or expo showcasing study and travel abroad opportunities in the developing world, courses and seminars on international issues, foreign student center activities, global social entrepreneurship programs, etc. Students and others will be encouraged to build international understanding through scholarship, international exchange, and voluntary service with an international focus. 

Our Voices Together invites family members and friends to join in this effort.  Please contact them about an opportunity to participate in a forum at your alma mater, that of your loved one, or at a university in your current community. Please see www.ourvoicestogether.org or contact Marianne Scott, Executive Director, Our Voices Together, via email at marianne@ourvoicestogether.org

 

Upcoming Events

Go to the FOS11 calendar for more events: http://www.familiesofseptember11.org/calendar.aspx

Support Groups for Those who are Grieving and Healing
The Health Care Chaplaincy offers free support groups in their offices located at 307 East 60th Street in New York City. The groups have a maximum registration of eight and are designed to help those who have been separated from relatives or friends by death.  Currently there are three groups: General Bereavement, Grieving the Loss of a Mother as an Adult, and Grieving the Loss of a Sibling.  For dates and to learn more visit http://www.familiesofseptember11.org/eventdetail.aspx?id=1072

Walking Tour Program
The Tribute Center, a project of the September 11th Families Association, is looking to recruit new volunteers for its Walking Tour Program. Tribute volunteers lead walks of the World Trade Center site and share their personal experiences related to February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001 with visitors. All volunteers are drawn from the September 11th Community – family members, survivors of the attacks, lower Manhattan residents and workers, rescue workers, police and firefighters. This program has brought these people together to help them heal as well as pay respects to the people who died on September 11th.
All of the volunteers go through a short training program as well as regular de-briefings with all volunteers.  To learn more about the program and training dates visit http://www.familiesofseptember11.org/eventdetail.aspx?id=1111.

Columbia University Resilience Enhancement (CURE) Workshops
World Cares Center will host a new workshop program, developed and conducted by senior faculty from Columbia University . The core philosophy of this workshop is that resilience, or “power of recovery,” can be cultivated, practiced, and enhanced in preparation for future major stressful events. The Columbia University Resilience Enhancement ( CURE ) program synthesizes new research findings with teaching strategies that proved successful in the Columbia Center ’s training program for professionals after 9/11.

The CURE program has been specially designed for individuals who have been affected by the 9/11 attacks. This program is not a treatment for PTSD, depression, or other psychological conditions that resulted from 9/11; however, staff can assist in finding treatment for persons in need of more intensive professional help.   To learn more about workshops and dates visit http://www.familiesofseptember11.org/eventdetail.aspx?id=1118

 

Resources

The 9/11 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program
Providing financial assistance for the cost of mental health and substance abuse treatment.  Created by the September 11th Fund and the American Red Cross and now managed by the Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA), this program offers financial assistance with the cost of mental health and substance abuse treatment to those directly affected by the attacks, regardless of insurance or immigration status. Coverage is retroactive to 9/11/01.  Visit the website and begin registration online at http://www.9-11mentalhealth.org/ or call any of the following numbers:
• 1-800-LIFENET (1-800-543-3638) (English)
• 1-877-Ayudese 1-877-298-3373 (Spanish)
• 1-877-990-8585 (Asian LifeNet)
• 1-212-982-5284 (TTY)

Ready.gov
Through this website, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security provides suggestions on how you can prepare for the unexpected, from assembling a supply kit to developing a family communications plan. The site also provides useful preparedness links, materials for businesses, and information on state agencies. Call (800) BE-READY for a free brochure and visit http://www.ready.gov/

Additional preparedness websites can be found on the FOS11 website at http://www.familiesofseptember11.org/resources.aspx?s=23

Career Breakthroughs
Career Breakthroughs is a career coaching program designed to serve individuals in the New York City Metropolitan Area, as well as individuals in Boston, Washington D.C, Shanksville, PA, or other U.S. regions as needed. The program serves 9/11-impacted individuals who are unemployed, severely underemployed, unable to sustain ongoing success in the workplace, or seeking to make a volunteer contribution to society. The program is led by Gene Gitelson, a former Vice President of the Chase Manhattan Bank and the former Managing Director of Lee Hecht Harrison, now the largest career services firm in the world. For more information on Career Breakthroughs, contact Gene directly at Ggitelson@aol.com or Career Breakthroughs Program Coordinator Michael Laputka at the Family Service League 973-746-0800 ext. 20 or via email at mlaputka@familyserviceleague.org.


 

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

Contact Us

Online

Become a Member
Donate Now
info@familiesofseptember11.org

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 http://www.newyork.bbb.org/.

Is this email going to your junk/bulk folder? Add info@familiesofseptember11.org to your address book to ensure that you receive all future mailings in your Inbox.