FOS11 Newsletter, Volume #6, Issue #5May 23, 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

Families of September 11 is proud to offer our annual Spring Resource Guide, Remembrance and Wellness: Where we are in 2007.  As a member, you will be receiving it in the mail, but you can also view it on our website, click here.  In this edition, we focus on post-traumatic growth, with articles from experts on the subject, testimonials from our members, and helpful resources. The Guide also includes tips for resiliency during times of war and other information regarding FOS11 activities.

As a community, we continue to recognize the strength it takes to move through the pain and loss of 9/11, though we also acknowledge the growth that occurs through that experience and some of the positive changes survivors have made in their lives.  This experience is unique for everyone, and we appreciate each individual’s personal struggles and growth.  Families of September 11 explores this idea in the Resource guide, and Advisory Board member Julian Ford describes this well in his featured article, “Ultimately, recovery and growth are equally valuable and equally challenging to achieve in the wake of trauma.  Often the greatest sign of growth is not an “aha” experience of profound enlightenment or stunning empowerment, but the very quiet inner knowledge of being on a life path that fulfills one’s goals and potentials while also honoring loved ones who are a part of one’s life whether they are physically present or not.”

Change and post-traumatic growth have been discussed in the past two FOS11 chats, and will be the topic for the upcoming chat on June 20th.  You can learn more about the FOS11 chat program, and enroll for this upcoming chat by clicking here.

“Post-traumatic growth also is a reminder to the society at large and to helping professionals that trauma affected people and communities have the potential for more than just survival and recovery, and that they are a source of inspiration and role model.” – Julian D. Ford, PhD.

Issues Update

Conviction of Mounir el Mottassadeq Upheld
The German courts have affirmed the conviction of Mounir el Motassadeq to fifteen years in prison, the maximum sentence possible under German law.  After several appeals processes, Mounir el Motassadeq was sentenced in January, after being found guilty as an accessory to 246 counts of murder – the number of victims that died in the planes (they did not charge him for the murder of those on the ground).  The fifteen year conviction is to include the time already served under the proceedings.

Some of the families of those that died on September 11th participated in the proceedings as co-plaintiffs. They were represented with dedication and interest by two German attorneys: Dr. Ulrich von Jeinsen and Andreas Schultz. Both attorneys served "pro bono", with no cost to the participating families.

Although Motassadeq original conviction was finally affirmed by the Hamburg court - as was the fifteen year prison term - the result of the Hamburg trials was mixed since the other defendant was ultimately acquitted and set free.  Some involved in the proceeding felt that the lack of cooperation by the US Department of Justice to share with the German courts the evidence needed and the access to the witnesses requested that lengthened the procedures and made convictions more difficult.  Families of September 11 will continue to support the United States and other governments’ efforts to ensure terrorists are held to account.

Register for Worker’s Compensation Benefits for 9/11 Related Injuries 
Deadline to Register: August 14, 2007
Thousands of people who participated in rescue, recovery or cleanup work after 9/11 are now sick. The New York State Workers’ Compensation Law has been changed to allow someone who was exposed, but is not sick, to register for benefits.  The revised law applies to most people who performed 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, and sanitation workers), NYC teachers and federal employees.  However, those workers are eligible if they performed any rescue, recovery or cleanup work off-duty in a volunteer capacity. 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.

Registering now will protect your right to file a workers’ compensation claim if you become sick at any time in the future. Click here to read a fact sheet regarding Workers’ Compensation Registration.  Click here to download the Claim Form and Instructions. 

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 (most recently at King’s College in London), 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 and will be launching two new announcements this month. 

If you are interested in holding a screening of Last Best Chance 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.  

Ground Zero Update

  • Search for Human Remains at the WTC Site
    The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner recently sent a press release describing how new advances in DNA extraction technology is allowing for new identifications from remains that had previously been tested and yielded no identifications.  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 regarding identification of remains and protocols, please contact the OCME’s WTC Unit at (212) 447-7884.  
  • Updates about Ground Zero Activities
    FOS11 continues to monitor the progress at Ground Zero and will continue to share information as it is available.  However, if you would like updates about activities at Ground Zero, family members are welcome to contact Ada Rehnberg-Campos at the Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit, at (212) 788-7410. 
  • 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 on the 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 a 9/11 Remembered section which is updated regularly with the latest news and information on rebuilding of 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. 

Welcome New FOS11 Board Member, Paul G. Chicos and Advisory Board Member, Paula A. Madrid
We welcome and thank Paul G. Chicos for recently joining the FOS11 Board and Paula A. Madrid Psy.D. for joining the FOS11 Advisory Board.  Paul Chicos, formerly Executive Vice President and US Health & Welfare Practice Leader for Aon Consulting, serves as President & CEO of E-Duction, a privately-held, emerging growth firm that has developed/patented payroll deduction technology with the functionality to secure variable and dynamic repayment of credit, funding of asset accounts, and payment of everyday living expenses.  Paula Madrid is a New York state licensed psychologist and Associate Research Scientist at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. As the director of the Psychosocial Preparedness Division, she runs the Center’s Resiliency Program, a 9/11 program established in November 2001 to provide direct and supportive services to those most impacted by the terrorist attacks. 

Visit Who We Are to read their full bios to learn more about our staff, Board of Directors, and Advisory Board.

Upcoming Events

FOS11 Calendar
Go to the FOS11 Calendar for an updated list of events.

Register Now for the Next FOS11 Chat
During the next chat we will explore the idea of post-traumatic growth.  This idea is explored in our recent Resource Guide, and is explained as “the experience where some survivors of crises report increased functioning and change after living through a serious trauma.”  Please join us to learn more about this topic and to share your own experiences.  To enroll, click the link and follow the directions below.
https://www.familiesofseptember11.org/chat2/membership_form.asp?chatID=62007

For directions using the actual screens you will see when you enroll, click here.  When you click on the link above to enroll you will then:

  • First use your FOS11 membership username and password to get to the chat registration (if you don’t know your membership information, you may retrieve it or re-register by clicking here.
  • Then, create a specific chat name and password for this chat.  Your chat name and password should use only letters - do not use numbers or symbols.  You can re-use your chat name and password for subsequent chats.
  • A few minutes later you will receive a confirmation email that you are enrolled which also includes the link to use on the day of the chat, to get into the chat.

On the day of the chat:

  • Log-in to the chat 15 minutes before the chat is scheduled to begin.  Click on the link that was sent in the email (mentioned above).  Be sure to use your FOS11 membership username and password and your chat name and password when prompted.
  • Your computer may then prompt you to install Java.  You need an upgraded version of JAVA to participate in the chat.  Allow the chat interface to direct you to the upgrade, then you click "yes" to upgrade, and the JAVA wizard will walk you through the process.  It may take a few minutes, but it is not difficult. 
  • If you experience any problems during this process, email chathelp@familiesofseptember11.org and describe the issue you are having and give us your contact information, so we can help you through the log-in.

Volunteer Opportunity with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
Families of September 11, in partnership with Transportation Security Administration and The Camilla Group will have upcoming speaking events in the New Orleans airport in mid June (June 11th or 12th) and another upcoming event in New York at JFK airport and Newark International airport in late June (June 26th and June 27th). Please let us know if you are available and interested in volunteering by emailing info@familiesofseptember11.org. (Note that the dates are all tentative, so if the date is not convenient, please let us know as it is possible for the dates to be changed).  If you decide to volunteer, you will work closely with the FOS11 staff. They will assist your preparation for the event and offer talking points and training to help you tell your story.  We invite you to join us and participate in this program!

The program allows volunteers to speak to Transportation Security Officers (TSO’s) at their local airport alongside FOS11 Board Member, Carie Lemack. This is your opportunity to get involved in a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of thorough and consistent security checks. You will have the unique opportunity to visit with screeners, express solidarity, empower yourself and share your story.  This program will engage volunteers nationwide and will allow you to:

  • Speak to a group of TSO’s at an airport near your hometown, to tell them your story, and express your support and sentiments regarding their work to ensure 9 /11 never happens again
  • Raise public awareness about the importance of aviation security, reminding people that keeping the skies safe is a community effort, not just the work of TSO’s
  • Be an integral part of boosting the effectiveness of aviation security across the nation

Volunteer and survivor of 62nd Floor WTC 2, Greg Clark said about his experience with this program, “I found the experience of talking to the TSA team in Miami very rewarding. After surviving the 9-11 attacks I have been searching for ways to prevent something like this happening to other people. The TSA personnel have a really tough job and they were very appreciative of my telling of how I escaped the trade center on 9-11, afterwards many came and thanked me and gave me a hug. I hope that the message we delivered will help keep the TSA people on the top of their game protecting us from another tragedy.”

Prepare NY
Thursday, June 7, 2007, 6:30-7:15 PM
Prepare New York is a free 45-minute emergency preparedness presentation teaching New York City residents how to create a plan, build a supply kit, and keep loved ones safe and informed during times of disaster.  Participants walk away with an interactive CD that can be used to create a customized evacuation plan and other tools that will help any family get prepared. Also included are various brochures from the American Red Cross and the New York City Office of Emergency Management, as well as a quiz to test the attendee's emergency preparedness knowledge. Visit their website to register or call (212) 875-2177 for more information.  The presentation will be held at the American Red Cross at 520 West 49th Street, New York, NY 10019

Outward Bound: Get Ready Adventure Programs Summer 2007
July 5 through 12, 2007
Outward Bound offers Colorado mountaineering and rafting available for ages 14-16.

  • Experience the majestic Colorado Rockies; sleep under the stars
  • Activities include mountaineering, backpacking, rock climbing, rafting and rappelling
  • No previous experience necessary, just determination; extremely challenging

Cost is free, excluding airfare.  Enrollment is limited to children who lost immediate family members on 9/11.  Please RSVP by Friday, June 1st to Kathy Murphy (516) 562-9000 at kathy@tuesdayschildren.org.  Visit their website to learn more www.tuesdayschildren.org.

Tribute Center Daily Walking Tours
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 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 visit their website at www.tributenyc.org.  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 (800) 548-6295 or e-mail him at the camp office at andy@americascamp.org or visit the camp website at www.americascamp.org.

New York State Museum Permanent 9/11 Exhibition
The World Trade Center, Rescue, Recovery, Response exhibit tells the story of the World Trade Center, the rescue efforts after the attacks, the recovery operation at the Staten Island landfill, and the public response to the September 11th events. The exhibition includes many objects, images, and video ands computer stations documenting this tragic chapter in New York and America's history.  The timeline was produced by the New York State Museum in collaboration with Families of September 11 and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and with the participation of the Fire Department of the City of New York, the New York City Police Department and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation's Families Advisory Council. The three-panel visual is based on an exhibit at the NYS Museum and includes content and images that respectfully and accurately provide an accounting of much of what happened on September 11, 2001. This information will be displayed on the fence at Ground Zero and should help orient the visitor to the site and promote a better understanding of the events of that day. For more information, visit their website or call (518) 474-5877.

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." Visit their website to learn how you can help.

Our Voices Together
Founded by 9/11 families and friends, Our Voices Together helps empower individuals to take actions that diminish the hatred fueling terrorist tactics.  By bringing together organizations and individuals who choose to foster greater understanding and to take actions to negate the popularity of extremists, Our Voices Together aims to reframe the public discussion concerning terrorism away from fear toward individual action.  Go to www.OurVoicesTogether.org or call (202) 223-0080 to find out what you can do today to respond to terrorism by making a positive difference in the world.

Children of September 11
FOS11 is proud of our Children of September 11 (COS11) program geared towards children, parents, and caregivers.  Featured on the site this month is information about talking to children about war.  In addition, the site features relevant articles, guidance, and resources.   Call us at (212) 575-1878 or visit our website at www.childrenofseptember11.org to learn more.

Resources for Exam and Treatment Costs for 9/11-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.  Visit their website at www.wtcexams.org.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention service available to anyone in suicidal crisis. If you need help, please dial (800) 273-TALK (8255). You will be routed to the closest possible crisis center in your area. With over 120 crisis centers across the country, their mission is to provide immediate assistance to anyone seeking mental health services. Call for yourself, or someone you care about. Your call is free and confidential. 

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 toll-free, anonymous hotlines:

  • (800) LifeNet (800) 543-3638 (English) 
  • (877) Ayudese (877) 298-3373 (Spanish)   
  • (877) 990-8585 (Asian LifeNet)  
  • (212) 982-5284 (TTY) 

For information about nationally available mental health support outside of New York state, click here.

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/.

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