FOS11 Newsletter, Volume #5, Issue #5May, 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


On May 4th, Zacarias Moussaoui was sentenced to life in prison, concluding the trial of the only person to be formally charged with the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the four flights. The reactions to the verdict vary greatly, and families and others continue to grapple with the impact of the trial’s outcome. We know that not all family members agree on what they hoped the outcome of the trial would be, but realize that for everyone, it has been trying and for some, traumatic. We encourage all members of Families of September 11 to reach out to friends, families, and others in the 9/11 community as we all continue to sort out the feelings and memories that this trial brings to the surface.

We know from experience that mainstream media coverage of the experience of 9/11 is cyclical. It peaks with a trial or a movie and than disappears until the next media ‘event’ excites public interest again. However, the experience of our members is not cyclical. It is constant and unending. Recognizing this, FOS11 strives to continue to be a support to our members by providing useful information and helpful resources. We are continually learning better ways to serve you by listening to you through our bulletin board, online chat program, or through the emails you send to us.  If you have suggestions for ways we can better serve our membership please contact us.

Submit Writing for the FOS11 Newsletter
As we move toward the 5th commemoration of September 11th, FOS11 would like to include your short articles, poems, narratives, journal entries, etc. in our newsletters. We would like to hear your expressions of resiliency and ways that people have decided to rebuild their lives in the wake of the September 11th tragedies. To make a submission, email Please keep submissions to 500 words or less.

Issues Update

Ground Zero Update
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (Port Authority) recognize the importance of the World Trade Center site to the families who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001 and their need to visit the site. The LMDC and the Port Authority have created two areas for the families to observe the site in quiet contemplation – The One Liberty Plaza Family Room, located on the 20th floor of One Liberty Plaza, which overlooks the World Trade Center Site, and the Liberty Street Family Room, on Liberty Street, which is located at the World Trade Center Site. For more information about Family Room Protocols and how to get a Family ID, click on the link below. Please note: The Family Rooms are open to family members of all the victims of the September 11th tragedy (including the families of victims of the four flights, the Pentagon, as well as the 93 bombing of the World Trade Center.) Please respect their privacy. Members of the press are specifically asked not to enter as this is a sacred space for families and their loved ones. LMDC Family Room Protocols

Click on the links below to read the most recent updates from the LMDC and the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation regarding the identification of remains and the building of the memorial.
May 9, 2006 Statement from the Memorial Foundation
LMDC Protocols for Remains Discovery

World Trade Center Movie
Oliver Stone's movie World Trade Center is scheduled to be released on August 9th. Trailers for the movie will begin in the next few weeks and are scheduled to be shown before the movie Da Vinci Code and potential before other movies (though each movie theater has the final say and some are deciding not to show the trailer). Print and television ads will come later in the summer. The trailer focuses on the morning of September 11 and the mobilizing of the rescue response. Each viewer’s response will be different, so you may want to be aware if the trailer is going to be shown before a film you are planning to attend. If you anticipate that you do not want to see the trailer, don't hesitate to talk to theater staff. Feel free to ask a theater manager about the trailers being shown before the movie you are about to see - this may take some time, so plan appropriately. Likewise, the decision to view the movie may be difficult for family members, witnesses of the events and survivors of the attacks. We encourage you to talk with loved ones before viewing the movie and to consider ways to help prepare yourself for the types of reactions you may experience.

Some resources that might be helpful are:
• Stephanie T. Norris, a FOS11 Advisory Board Member offers a two-page article about reactions and impacts of images and symbols of September 11, 2001: Raise Your Awareness: Understanding the Impact of 9/11 Images. She provides information on types of reactions that may occur, and strategies for working with youth. Click here and scroll down to find the article.

• The New York University Child Study Center developed an article titled 'Preparing for Movies about 9/11: A Parent's Guide'. Click here and scroll down to read this.

The Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health’s World Trade Center Pregnancy Study
This important study was launched in December 2001 to assess the effects of prenatal exposure to contaminants released by the WTC destruction on gestational age, birth size, respiratory health, and neurocognitive development in 330 women who had full term pregnancies. To read more about the study including published papers click here.

9/11 Grief Survey, Phase II
The Center for the Study of Trauma and Resilience at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University is conducting Phase II of the 9/11 Grief Survey among people who participated in Phase I. FOS11 Board members MaryEllen Salamone and Don Goodrich helped to pilot and review the survey in its initial phase. The survey is aimed at understanding all possible psychological responses to traumatic loss. In order to understand the full scope of the responses to 9/11 experience and to develop treatments to help individuals who suffer from traumatic grief, it is helpful to have as many individuals to participate as possible.

Those who have received an invitation to participate and have not done so already are requested to log onto the study website at in order to complete Phase II of the study. If you have questions regarding the study please address them to the Principal Investigator Dr. Yuval Neria from Columbia University at For help with your password or PIN code you may contact Scott Noonan at

Upcoming Events

FOS11 Chat Program: 9/11 Online Community Support Group
This Thursday, May 25th FOS11 will offer two chats on the topic of communication: "When Friends Try to Help You Move On...Words of Wisdom and Courageous Actions."
The first chat held from 8pm-9pm EST will be focused on the experience of people who lost loved ones on September 11th.  Click here to enroll in this session.
The second chat held from 9pm-10pm EST will be focused on the experience of September 11th survivors, witnesses, and/or emergency and volunteer responders.  Click here to enroll in this session.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at (212) 575-1878 or

The online chat program brings members of the 9/11 community from different geographic locations together to connect and share common experiences. To date, we have had 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 helping to break the sense of isolation 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 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 the FOS11 website.

FOS11 9/11 Commemorative Events Outreach
As our tradition, FOS11 helps to make members and others aware of the many 9/11 commemorative events occurring around the country. To do this, we ask you to let us know what is going on in your community. If you know of any commemoration events being planned, whether a small gathering, a bench dedication, or a large event, please email FOS11 with information including date, time, location, sponsoring organization(s), and description of the event at

We also offer our 9/11 band in remembrance, with honor, and in hope of a better future. If you are organizing an event, and would like to include the band, please click here to download an order form, or call our office at (212) 575-1878 for more information.

NYDIS/OEM Faith-Based Initiative 2006: Ready NY Events
New York Disaster Interfaith Services, a faith-based federation of service providers and charitable organizations working to prepare and respond to disasters in New York City, has teamed with the New York City Office of Emergency Management to bring you exciting and informative Ready New York events throughout the year on emergency preparedness. These events focus on an all-hazard approach to personal, congregational, and community preparedness. For dates and to learn more about upcoming events, click here

“Unity Canvas” Art Project Display
Tuesday, May 2, 2006 – Tuesday, May 30, 2006
The Port Authority of NY and NJ will display the Collaborative, 9/11 Art Project "Unity Canvas" during the month of May 2006. The Unity Canvas Project is an artist-to-artist, New York-based, collective response to the tragedy of September 11. To learn more about this project click here.

Go to the FOS11 calendar for more events.


Health Issues for 9/11 Rescue and Recovery Workers
FOS11 has received a number of requests for information about resources available to people who participated in the rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center during the weeks and months after 9/11. As more reports of illnesses in this population surface, it is becoming apparent that there is a need for timely and accurate information about examination and treatment resources available to people who were possibly exposed to toxic material. We will be monitoring these developments and reporting on them in the Health Issues Section of the Support Resources area of the FOS11 website.

The 9/11 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program
This program provides 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. You are eligible for the 9/11 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program if you:

  • Lost a family member
  • Were physically injured
  • Lived below Canal Street
  • Worked in the World Trade Center area or the Pentagon – whether or not you were at work that day
  • Were evacuated from the World Trade Center area or the Pentagon
  • Attended a school near the World Trade Center or are the parent of a child who attended a school nearby
  • Were a rescue, recovery, or reconstruction worker assigned to a “restricted site”
  • Were an emergency dispatcher on 9/11 or worked in the morgues serving the attack sites worked south of Canal Street or at Ronald Reagan Airport, and before January 11, 2002 lost your job or earned less than 70% of your pre-9/11 income
  • If you are a family member or shared a home with any of the people whose situations are listed here

Financial assistance for treatment is retroactive to September 11, 2001 and will cover dates of service through December 31, 2007. That means if you are eligible and you received treatment after the initial attacks, your out-of-pocket costs may still be covered.  You must enroll by January 2, 2007 to be eligible for these services.

Visit the website and begin registration online at 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)

The Financial Planning Association
The Financial Planning Association (FPA) provides pro bono (free), no strings attached, financial planning advice and counseling to eligible 9/11 victims who lost a family member, those injured during the attacks or displaced from jobs/business as a direct result of the attacks, as well as rescue workers who assisted with recovery efforts and referred by a partner organization. Services include educational brochures and information sheets, seminars and workshops on a myriad of financial planning topics, customized to an organization's needs; and client referrals to FPA members who are CFP professionals for one-on-one consultations for qualified individuals and families. Access to FPA's 9/11 Financial Planning Relief Services can be obtained through a toll free helpline at 1-800-282-PLAN (7526), option 2, or contact Claude H. Collins, Program Coordinator, at 212-493-3480.  For more information about the Financial Planning Association and services provided through the National Financial Planning Support Center, please visit

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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