FOS11 Newsletter, Volume #6, Issue #3March 26, 2007

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

Earlier this month, the Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation, known as the “Improving America’s Security Act”, to implement many of the remaining reforms recommended by the Sept. 11 commission.  These reforms include issues such as applying a maximum effort to prevent nuclear terrorism; improving interoperability and emergency communications; allocating funding for homeland security grants based on risk; and implementing increased security for air cargo, ports, chemical plants and rail systems. 

Several family members were involved in the hearings and advocated the passage of this legislation.  Read a statement given by several family members, including FOS11 Board Member Carie Lemack and FOS11 member Beverly Eckert, who were instrumental in getting this legislation passed, click here

FOS11 will continue to keep you updated on this legislation and other work being done to make the country safer and more secure.

Issues Update

State Health Department to Study Fatalities of World Trade Center Responders
Last month, the New York State Health Department announced an agreement with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to study fatalities among workers who participated in the recovery and cleanup efforts at the World Trade Center site to determine what health issues have been raised in those deaths.  To read their press release announcing the study, click here. To report the death of a WTC worker or volunteer, please call 1-866-807-2130 in New York or 518-402-7900 for those outside of New York State, or send an email to WTCFatality@health.state.ny.us.  For more information about the Department's response to the World Trade Center, respiratory illnesses, or worker safety please click here for New York Department of Health or NIOSH.

Combatant Status Review Tribunal Hearings
As you are probably aware from media reports, the United States Department of Defense is conducting Combatant Status Review Tribunal Hearings at the U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  The purpose of these hearings is to determine whether high value detainees meet criteria to be designated as enemy combatants.  The hearings include the presentation of evidence that relates to the detainee's enemy combatant status.  The evidence presented may relate to a crime with known American Citizens as victims.  The Department of Defense, the Department of Justice and the FBI are meeting to establish a process in which victims and families can be updated on these proceedings and any criminal charges and prosecutions involving these detainees.  The process is still in development.  In the meantime, these agencies are making efforts to keep victims and families informed.  The Department of Defense is posting the transcripts of the Combatant Status Review Tribunal Hearings on their Defense Link website. The direct web address to access the transcripts is http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Combatant_Tribunals.html

The FBI's Office of Victim Assistance is asking for the assistance of the 9-11 victims and family groups in disseminating information to other affected victims and families of victims.  If you are aware of other victim/family groups who should be included in the e-mail group, please let us know.  The FBI's Office for Victim Assistance can be reached by e-mail at victim.assistance@ic.fbi.gov or toll-free by phone at 866-828-5320.  

State Farm Seeks Inspirational Women for Annual Embrace Life Awards
For the fourth year, State Farm is seeking to honor widowed women who “find extraordinary strength to overcome these circumstances and persevere – going beyond their grief to inspire others.”  State Farm is looking to celebrate personal achievements and share the life lessons of five of these women during the 2007 Embrace Life Awards.  We know that there are many extraordinary women who were widowed as a result of 9/11 and we encourage you to look into this award for you or someone you know.  Click here for more information.

Story Corps in New Locations around the Country
StoryCorps, in partnership with Families of September 11, extends a special invitation to FOS11 members to make a StoryCorps recording at one of the four locations, below. This service to the 9/11 community is free of charge.

  • StoryCorps has just opened the new Milwaukee Outpost in Wisconsin. 
  • There are also three StoryCorps MobileBooths touring the country.  Reservations are currently being accepted for the following stops:
    o Fayetteville, Arkansas
    o Richmond, Virginia
    o Lafayette, Louisiana

To make an Outpost or MobileBooth reservation call 646 723 7027.  Please mention that you will be making a recording related to September 11th.  For an itinerary of MobileBooth stops in 2007, click on the following link:
http://www.storycorps.net/participate/record_an_interview/locations/

At the end of the interview, you receive a CD copy of your 40-minute audio recording, which you can duplicate for family and friends. With your permission, the recording also becomes part of the StoryCorps archive at the Library of Congress, in Washington, DC, and the permanent collection of the WTC Memorial Museum, in New York City.

From StoryCorps participant John Quinn:
“I wanted to let you know that my recording went extremely well. The hour brought a lot of memories back to me about my dear friend Joyce Carpeneto, as well as some emotional moments, too. I’ve listened to the recording I made and I am very proud of the way it turned out…. It is so special for me to know that long after I have left this world, my words about Joyce will be preserved in the Library of Congress for future generations to hear. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

StoryCorps is the national oral history project that instructs and inspires people to preserve one another’s stories in sound. Through its September 11th Initiative, StoryCorps is recording the life stories of those who were lost on September 11th. Family members, friends, relatives, and coworkers are all welcome to record memories of their loved ones to memorialize and celebrate the lives they lived.  StoryCorps is also recording the stories of survivors, firefighters, police officers, rescue workers, witnesses, volunteers, or anyone closely impacted by September 11th, in order to preserve their personal experiences for history.

To learn more about StoryCorps please visit www.storycorps.net.  Here, you can listen to excerpts of StoryCorps interviews and find question lists to help you prepare for your recording.

Confession of Khalid Sheik Mohammed
This past month, Khalid Sheik Mohammed confessed, at a closed-door Guantanamo Bay military tribunal, that he planned and funded the al-Qaeda operation that resulted in the September 11, 2001 attacks.  He also said that he was involved in more than two dozen other terrorist acts around the world. 

With confessions from those accused of plotting 9/11 increasingly coming to light, Families of September 11 recognizes that you may be experiencing anxiety, grief or frustration. We understand that you may want to limit your exposure to media accounts of the combatant status reviews. For organizations that can offer you personalized support, please see below or visit the Resources section of our website.

Families of September 11 is committed to meeting the needs of its members. As such, we are prepared to ensure victims' families and survivors' are respectfully given the rights allotted to all crime victims. As we learn more about the potential for detainee trials, including those of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and others accused of participating in the 9/11 plot, we will continue to work with government agencies to accommodate families' needs.

Reign Over Me
At the end of this month, the new movie Reign Over Me will be opening in theaters.  This movie depicts a man who lost several family members on September 11th, and who as a result, experiences extreme trauma-related reactions.   The movie is focused on his recovery with the help of a strong friendship.  As we’ve previously mentioned, the previews have few mentions of September 11th.  The movie shows no graphic images though the character does share his experience of September 11th through narrative. 

Ground Zero Update

  • Search for Human Remains at the WTC Site
    On March 12, 2007, Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler sent Mayor Bloomberg, an update on the search for human remains at the WTC site.  To read this memo in full click here. This memo reviews the status of the four components of the search for human remains: (1) excavation and sifting of material from the Haul Road; (2) excavation and sifting of material from the 140 Liberty Street parcel (the site of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church); (3) searches and sifting of material from buildings and rooftops in the vicinity of the WTC site; and (4) evacuation and sifting of material from manholes and other subterranean structures in the vicinity of the WTC site. FOS11 continues to monitor the progress and will continue to share information as it is available to us.  If you have any questions or would like an update, contact Ada Rehnberg-Campos at the Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit, at 212-788-7410.  
  • Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
    According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office, there are no new protocols for the recovery of remains.  Family members do not have to resubmit DNA and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will continue to be the initial point of contact for families.  If you have any questions, please contact the OCME’s WTC Unit at (212) 447-7884.  
  • EPA to Test Indoor Spaces in Lower Manhattan
    In the final phase of its response to the events of September 11, 2001, EPA has announced the beginning of a program to test indoor spaces in Lower Manhattan. The program, which covers the area south of Canal Street and west of Allen and Pike Streets, will allow residents and building owners to have the air and dust in their units tested for four contaminants associated with dust from the collapse of the World Trade Center. If analysis of dust and air samples finds elevated levels of any of four contaminants of concern – asbestos, man-made vitreous fibers such as fiberglass, lead, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons – the contaminants will be cleaned up. Under the program announced today, local residents and owners of commercial or residential buildings closest to Ground Zero will receive priority for testing and cleaning if registration for the program is high. The program is limited to $7 million provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The number of residential and commercials spaces that will be addressed under the program will depend upon a number of factors, including the square footage of the units participating.  Registration for the program will begin mid-January and run for two months.  For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/wtc/testandclean or contact the Indoor Air Residential Assistance Program at (212) 637-3435. 
  • Property Recovery from WTC site
    Since the World Trade Center (WTC) tragedy thousands of items of personal property has been recovered from Ground Zero, the Fresh Kills site and the Medical Examiner's Office at Bellevue Hospital. This property has been invoiced by the NYPD and is in the custody of the NYPD's Property Clerk Division.  To learn more about the property recovery from the WTC site click here, you can also contact NYPD Property Clerk Division at (646) 610-7202.  If you have contacted the clerk’s office in the past and are unsure about the status of your case, you may need to call them again to follow-up. 
  • Rebuilding Ground Zero FOS11 Website
    Families of September 11 remains dedicated to supporting a timely and appropriate memorial to remember and honor all the lives that were lost on September 11, 2001.  We offer this section on our website which is updated regularly with the latest news and information on rebuilding of Ground Zero.  We realize that there are many differences in opinion and views on this issue.  FOS11 seeks to provide as much information as we can.  This new section on our website provides links to articles, press releases, memorial groups and information as it is related to rebuilding Ground Zero. We neither support nor oppose any of these groups or websites. Rather, we aim to offer timely updates and provide information as it becomes available.  Click here to visit the website.

FOS11 Visits the Tribute Center at Ground Zero
This month, FOS11 staff had the opportunity to visit the Tribute WTC 9/11 Visitor Center.  Located on 120 Liberty Street right across from Ground Zero, the Tribute Center was formerly the Liberty Deli which served as a feeding site for rescue and recovery workers in the immediate aftermath of the attack.  The Tribute Center features five galleries.  The first gallery includes a model of the Twin Towers and shows the World Trade Center community as it was before September 11th.  Through images, words and sounds, the gallery gives visitors a sense of the vibrant and dynamic community that existed.  The second gallery features a series of floor to ceiling panels, which present a timeline of events for the first terrorist attack on February 26, 1993, followed by the September 11, 2001 attacks.  Rescue and recovery efforts are documented in the third gallery. Artifacts, personal stories and a documentary film portray the heroic efforts of all the individuals and organizations that were involved in the rescue and recovery operations.  The fourth gallery pays tribute to the victims lost in the attacks.  Photographs and memorabilia shared by victims’ families are displayed and a perpetual scrolling of names pays constant tribute to those loved and lost.  The fifth and final gallery, located at the lower level of the Tribute Center, features audio stories and handwritten messages of support.  Visitors are invited to share their thoughts, reflections and personal stories related to 9/11.

The Tribute Center also offers guided tours led by family members, workers and residents of the area, survivors, rescue and recovery workers and volunteers.  Tours begin at 120 Liberty Street and guides lead visitors around the World Trade Center site, mostly traveling inside the World Financial Center, looking out to Ground Zero.  Tour guides combine facts and events of the day with their personal stories.  For more information about the Tribute WTC 9/11 Visitor Center, visit http://www.tributenyc.org, email visitorservices@tributewtc.org, call 212-422-3520 or 866-737-1184.   

FOS11 continues to make progress to prevent nuclear terrorism
Families of September 11 is proud of the progress being made through our collaboration with the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).  Together, we have held screenings of the nuclear terrorism docudrama “Last Best Chance” and panel discussions about how ordinary citizens can help prevent nuclear terrorism at universities (Harvard, Columbia, University of Pittsburgh, London School of Economics), with members of Congress and with organizations across the country.  We have also created three public service announcements that have been broadcast on over 100 television stations nationwide.  If you are interested in holding a screening in your community,  asking your local television to air the public service announcements or learning more about the program and what you can do to help prevent nuclear terrorism, please visit the www.saferworld.org website. 

GoodSearch – Use this Search Engine and Raise Money for FOS11
There is a quick and easy way to help raise money for FOS11 without ever having to spend a penny. By switching your search engine to GoodSearch, you can raise money for FOS11 every time you search. GoodSearch is a search engine, powered by Yahoo!, which donates half of its revenue to charity.  Help raise money for FOS11 by designating us as the charity of your choice.

It’s simple. Just go to www.goodsearch.com and type in “Families of September 11” for “Who do you GoodSearch for?” Click on “verify” and start searching! The more you search, the more money you generate. GoodSearch estimates that each web search will generate approximately a penny for the designated charity. If 100 people use GoodSearch twice a day, FOS11 can earn an estimated $730 a year. 1,000 users searching twice a day can generate $7,300 a year and 10,000 users can generate $73,000 a year!

GoodSearch featured Families of September 11 as Charity of the Day on March, 22, 2007.  By using Goodsearch, you can help raise money for FOS11 without ever having to tap into your own finances. We hope that you start using GoodSearch today.

Upcoming Events

FOS11 Calendar
Go to the FOS11 calendar for an updated list of events.   [https://www.familiesofseptember11.org/calendar.aspx] for more events.

World Trade Center Documentation Symposium
Thursday, March 29, 2007, 9am-4:30pm
The New York State Archives, Documentary Heritage Program is conducting a one-day symposium that will review the status of efforts to date to document the catastrophic events of 9/11/01 and plan for future documentation activities.
They are particularly interested in inviting representatives from the family/survivor community and from first responder groups to participate and share their thoughts with the archival community about documenting the defining moment for the start of the new millennium.  This will be held at the Woolworth Building, (NYU/Woolworth Conference Center) at 15 Barclay Street, New York, NY.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. James E. Young, Professor of English and Judaica Studies at the University of Massachusetts. Dr. Young is writing a book about his experiences serving on the jury for the World Trade Center Site Memorial. Representatives from several institutions have been invited to discuss their WTC documentation activities, including the College of Staten Island, Hofstra University’s Long Island Studies Institute and Voices of September 11. Following the presentations, break-out sessions will be held to review the success of current projects, identify documentation challenges yet to be addressed and to determine future actions. The group will then reconvene to determine a plan for future documentation, fund-raising and other support. For further information please contact either Ray LaFever (rlafever@mail.nysed.gov) or Laura Zelasnic (lzelasni@mail.nysed.gov). Seating will be limited.

9/11 Voices of September 11 - Living Memorial Workshop
Saturday, March 31, 2007, 1:30pm – 3:30pm

Voices of September 11 is having a 9/11 Living Memorial Workshop at the Ridgewood Public Library, 123 N. Maple Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ.  The program will include a brief presentation on the 9/11 Living Memorial (www.911livingmemorial.org) and opportunities to begin creating a Living Memorial Page.  Refreshments will be served. More details will be announced soon. Call or email Michelle Doherty toll free
(866) 505-3911 to register. For more information click on the link below: http://www.voicesofsept11.org/dev/content.php?idtocitems=1,6,19

Tribute Center Daily Walking Tours
July 18, 2006 – July 18, 2007
The Tribute Center is a project of the September 11th Widows and Victims' Families' Association.   They offer daily public tours around the perimeter of the World Trade Center site. Led by people who lost loved ones, survivors of the attacks, lower Manhattan residents and workers, rescue workers, police, firefighters, and volunteers who came to help, the tours give an overview of what happened at the site on February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001 and provide an opportunity for visitors to hear their guide’s personal experiences. Tours begins at 120 Liberty Street, in front of the future Tribute Center, and last approximately one hour. Tour reservations can be booked online under “Other Events.” Advanced registration fee is $10.00 per person; children under 12 are admitted free.  For more information, email info@tributenyc.org or click here to visit the website.
Schedule

Weekdays 1:00 PM & 3:00 PM EST
Weekends 12:00 PM; 1:00 PM; 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM EST

America's Camp
August, 15-22, 2007
America’s Camp is now enrolling boys and girls, ages 7 to 15, for its sixth summer in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts. The session will begin on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 and finish on Wednesday, August 22, 2007. This week-long, sleep-away camp is offered at no cost to eligible families. The campers have diverse backgrounds and interests, but share a common experience – they have all lost a parent or sibling either in the 9/11 attacks or in the line of duty at any time as a firefighter or law enforcement officer.

Enrollment has grown over five years from 80 to over 260, and over 80 percent of the campers return from summer to summer. A mature, enthusiastic staff is thoroughly trained to ensure a positive, fun, supportive environment. Camper-to-staff ratio is better than 2:1. Campers self-select activities from a wide range of individual and team sports, the arts and hobbies, and water activities at both the pool and lake. Trips and special events highlight a fun-packed week in a picturesque setting with great facilities. Round-trip transportation on coach buses is provided.
For information about the camp and enrollment, families can contact director Andy Cole at 1-800-548-6295 or e-mail him at the camp office at andy@americascamp.org or visit the camp website by clicking here

Resources

Safer World
Show your concern and learn about how to prevent nuclear terrorism.  Act now for a safer world. NTI and Families of September 11 have joined forces to raise awareness about the threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and materials so citizens can help reduce these threats. The 9/11 Commission recommended an all-out effort to secure weapons of mass destruction, but its final report card gave the U.S. government a "D" for its progress. We want to turn that “D” to an “A ". Click here to learn how you can help.

LifeNet (NYC)
If you or someone you know in the New York City area is suffering with emotional or substance abuse problems, LifeNet can help. LifeNet counselors are available, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day and speak a variety of languages. LifeNet is a program of the Mental Health Association of NYC, Inc.  To learn more about LifeNet click here.  You can reach LifeNet by calling any one of the three toll-free, anonymous hotlines: 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)

New York State Workers’ Compensation Registration Form and Instruction for WTC Rescue, Recovery, and Clean-up Personnel
Deadline to Apply: August 14, 2007
The New York State Workers' Compensation Law has been changed to allow rescue, recovery, and cleanup workers exposed to toxic materials at WTC to preregister, even if not presently sick. Registering now will protect your right to file a workers' compensation claim if you become ill at any time in the future.
The law applies to most people who did paid or unpaid rescue, recovery or cleanup work in Lower Manhattan south of Canal or Pike Streets between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 12, 2002. It also applies to rescue, recovery or cleanup workers who worked at the Staten Island landfill, the barge operation between Manhattan and Staten Island or the New York City morgue, and temporary morgues. The only workers who are not covered are those who are not in the workers’ compensation system: NYC uniformed services (firefighters, police, sanitation workers), NYC teachers and federal employees. But those workers are eligible if they performed any rescue, recovery or cleanup work off-duty, as a volunteer. The new law also allows anyone who already filed a claim - but was turned down because the claim was filed too late - to re-file. Click here to download the Claim Form and Instructions.

Clinics Participating in Medical Screening Exams for WTC Related Illnesses
More than 800 people from 39 states and two Canadian provinces underwent medical screening for Ground Zero-related symptoms at clinics affiliated with the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics. The clinics, under a contract first with Mount Sinai and now with the American Red Cross, may pick up exam and treatment costs for certain illnesses if the patients meet a criteria set up by the World Trade Center Medical Screening Program. To view a national list of these clinics, click on the link above or contact the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics at 888-347-2632 or the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring Program at 888-702-0630.  To visit the website click here

Health Resources for 9/11 Rescue and Recovery Workers
FOS11 maintains a health section on the website that includes health resources for 9/11 rescue and recovery workers.  This section includes links to a number of articles in the news as well as information about examination and treatment resources available to people who were possibly exposed to toxic material on, or subsequent to 9/11. Indications are that this will continue to be an issue of growing importance for increasing numbers of people. Families of September 11 will continue to monitor developments and post information as we become aware of it.

FDNY/Columbia University Family Guidance Program
The FDNY/Columbia University Family Assessment and Guidance Program, part of the University's School of Social Work, was developed this past year as a collaborative program with the New York City Fire Department to provide assistance to children of firefighters who perished during the September 11th terrorist attacks. It was selected by the Counseling Service Unit of the FDNY to provide assessment, guidance and long-term follow-up. The organization can be contacted at (212) 851-2402.

World Trade Center Survivors' Network
The Survivors' Network seeks to provide a forum for personal contact between survivors as a means to empower them to both deal with the circumstances of the aftermath of the attacks and to find renewed purpose in that aftermath. The Network also functions as a place for people to go and get survivors' perspectives and as a conduit for the common thoughts of survivors. On the organization's homepage, there are links to join two different Yahoo groups: Survivorsnet and the WTC Survivors. All of the files and meeting information for the organization are posted in both groups. Click here for more information.

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

Contact Us

Online

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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/.

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