FOS11 Newsletter, Volume #2, Issue #11October 2003

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


Take us out to a ball game! Family members Anna, Alex
and Aidan pose for a quick photo at the September 10th
Mets vs. Marlins Game. Look under our “Events” Section
below for more fun family activities!

"Resiliency" is a word that can mean different things to different people. For 9/11 families, it means learning to tap into the resources we as individuals may possess as well as resources made available to help us in the days, weeks, months and years to come.  As we move into our third year of changed lives, Families of September 11 remains committed to making available to all our members those resources upon which they can draw for support or information. 

Whether providing updates on investigations and litigation, or contact information on mental health help, we are intent on keeping you informed. We are also pursuing an effort that will result in family members being able to connect with one another through the Internet.  As we move closer to that goal, we urge you to send us any articles, pictures or information you would like us to share.  Our strength comes from your continued strength and support.  Thank you for your example.

Issues Update

URGENT:  The deadline for filing the Victim’s Compensation Fund is December 22, 2003. Please visit the following website: http://www.usdoj.gov/victimcompensation and consult with your attorney so that you can make an informed decision about whether to enter the fund.  Also look under the “Legislative Issues” section for information on bills supporting the extension of the deadline.  However, do not assume that this deadline will be extended.

Legislative Issues
Bills Introduced in House and Senate to Extend Deadline for the VCF
In September, Vermont Senator Leahy and New York Congressman Fossella each introduced legislation, which, if passed, would extend the deadline for filing claims under the Victims Compensation fund (VCF) to December of 2004.  The present deadline for filing such claims is December 22, 2003 (less than three months from now).

Families of September 11 supports the extension of the deadline for filing claims under the VCF.  However, as these bills were introduced late in the congressional calendar, it is unlikely that they will successfully pass and be signed into law before Congress adjourns for the year, nor is there any guarantee this proposed legislation will be passed in the future by Congress and applied retroactively.  Thus, Families of of September 11 recommends that family members who have not yet made a decision as to whether to participate in the Victims Compensation Fund not rely on these bills and put off making a well informed decision about filing a claim under the VCF.  We urge you to consult legal counsel As soon as possible (so that you will have the time necessary to make decisions before December 22nd of this year). 

As Representative Fossella stated when he introduced his bill, "Given the complexities of the Fund and recent court decisions, it only seems fair that the deadline be extended. However, I do not want to give the families a false sense of hope nor do I want to see anyone delay making a decision and end up missing out on their right to join with Fund. This is going to be an uphill battle, and families need to proceed with their decision-making according to the December 22, 2003 deadline.”

Family members who support passage of these bills are urged to contact their congressmen and senators.  Contact information can be found at http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov.

All family members are also encouraged to visit the National Center for Victims of Crime website to voice your opinion of these bills.  Please submit your view on their website, http://www.ncvc.org and click on their September 11 Victim Compensation Fund survey (it is only 3 questions and takes less than one minute.)   We applaud their work towards ensuring ample application time for September 11 families, as well as any potential victims of future crimes.

Legal Motions by Airlines, the Port Authority, and the World Trade Center Denied
On September 9th, the United States District Judge, Alvin K. Hellerstein, denied the motions by the airlines, the Port Authority and the World Trade Center to dismiss the legal actions brought against them and stated the "we are now ready to proceed with the discovery stages of the lawsuits.” To this end Judge Hellerstein met with all counsel for case management purposes on September 26, 2003 at 9:30 am in Court in New York, NY.  The entire text of judge Hellerstein's decision and the docket can be viewed at: http://www.nysd.uscourts.gov/Sept11Litigation.htm.

9/11 Commission Hearing Scheduled Released
The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the "9/11 Commission") has released its tentative schedule of upcoming hearings.  All family members are encouraged to attend to show our support for the work of the commission! 

October 14 Hearing (DC): Intelligence and the War on Terrorism
November 19 Hearing (NJ): Emergency Preparedness
December 8 Hearing (DC): Security and Liberty

Tentative from this point on:
January 5 Hearing (DC): NORAD/FAA
January 26-27 Hearing (DC): Borders and Transportation
February 10-12 Hearing (DC): Law Enforcement, Intelligence, and Homeland Security In the US
February 23-24 Hearing (DC): Safe Havens and Permissive Environments
March 22-25 Hearing (DC): The War on Terrorism and America’s International Policies
April 28-29 Hearing (DC): September 11, 2001

9/11 Commission Issues Second Interim Report
Families Concerned With Progress Made and Lack of Administration Cooperation
In late September, the 9-11 Commission issued its second interim report, which can be viewed at the web link http://www.9-11commission.gov/press/report_2003-09-23.pdf.  Although cooperation has significantly improved since the commission issued its first report, they are still running into numerous problems, including key documents not being turned over, the use of minders in interviews, and the White House putting restrictions on perhaps which commissioners can view certain documents.  Families of September 11 continues to advocate for greater cooperation between the administration and the commission through its work in Washington and its participation on the Family Steering Committee (FSC).  Prior to the issuance of the second interim report, the FSC issued a report card on the Commission’s progress, which you can view at http://www.familiesofseptember11.org/docs/reportcard9-03.doc. Senator Daschle’s office also issued a statement urging administration cooperation, which can be viewed by clicking here. The FSC and Families of September 11 are working closely with members of Congress, the press and others to monitor the situation. In addition, we are asking for additional hearings on the following topics: White House/Administration activities that leading up to and on 9/11; congressional oversight; and Saudi Arabia's involvement.  We would also like to see more hearings in New York City so more family members can attend. 

Town of Newton, CT launches Petition Drive in Support of 9/11 Commission
A petition drive has been started in Newtown, CT asking the Newtown Legislative Council to pass a resolution supporting the efforts of the 9/11 Commission and urging the Commission to address the questions and issue raised by the Family Steering Committee.  An information meeting was held on October 8th to discuss the effort and gather additional signatures and is being led by Newtown resident James Allen.  The full text of the resolution can be found at http://www.911thousandmanmarch.org.   Jim anticipates bringing the petition before the Council by October 15th.  It’s especially meaningful for the families to get such strong support from others.

Lower Manhattan Memorial Update
The most current version of the site plan was introduced to the Families Advisory Council a few weeks ago.  The removal of a potential bus terminal and truck ramps are improvements we welcome. While the LMDC and the Port have pledged to build nothing on top of the footprints and only memorial-related infrastructure beneath them, some family members are still concerned about access to bedrock at the footprints. We await the selection of a memorial design, which will in large part help to clarify and resolve some of these issues.  Three-five finalists are expected to be announced in early November. 

Article of the Month
Losing Our Minds and Finding Them Again: A View of the Brain’s Response to Trauma
Please read this important article written by Susan Pinco for family members, addressing trauma and memory loss.

Family Member Reflection
Margaret Donavan, a family member, reflects about her cousin, anniversaries and moving forward.

Upcoming Events

Families of September 11 announces two new programs for family members.  Click and view the program descriptions and details.  We hope to include you on our next family hiking day or have your children participate in our photography program!  Contact our New York office at 212-575-1878 to learn more about these activities and to register today!

FOS11 Wilderness Program
FOS11 Photography Program

Scholarship Information: Horace Mann Offers College Scholarships for Educators' Children
Deadline: February 12, 2004
Insurance company Horace Mann ( http://www.horacemann.com/scholarship), which provides financial products for educators, offers the Horace Mann Scholarship Program to help children of public and private school employees attend college. The 2003-2004 programs will offer twenty-six scholarships totaling $50,000.  The company will pay the scholarships directly to the college or university of the recipient's choice for tuition, fees, and other educational expenses.

To be eligible, a student must be a college-bound high school senior whose parent or legal guardian is a U.S. public or private school or college employee. The student must have an overall grade point average equivalent to at least a "B" and score at least 23 on the ACT or 1,100 on the SAT.   View the Horace Mann website for more information, click on the following link for an online application: http://www.horacemann.com/scholarship.  Your password on the site is the seven character number assigned to the decedent by the Medical Examiners Office. You must enter the entire seven character letter and number combination including all zeros. For example: rm07777.  If you require information regarding an rm number please contact the Medical Examiners Office at 212-447-7884.

Interested in volunteering your time?  Learn more from Volunteer Match
Volunteer Match (http://www.volunteermatch.org/) is the nonprofit web service that simplifies the process of finding and getting involved in volunteer opportunities throughout the United States.  Potential volunteers enter their ZIP code on the volunteer home page to receive an up-to-date listing of local volunteer opportunities, all of which are posted by local and national volunteer organizations.  For more information, or to volunteer in recognition of the second commemoration of September 11, visit the organization online.  Since 1998, this community has helped thousands of nonprofits attract over 1,000,000 volunteer referrals.

Invitation to the ACCESS Volunteer Grief Mentor Training Conference
November 8-9, 2003 in New York City, 8:00AM-5:00PM
If you have survived or lost a loved one in an air disaster and would like to become a trained ACCESS Volunteer Grief Mentor who helps others who have lost loved ones in more recent air disasters the Board of Directors and staff of Aircraft Casualty Emotional Support Services (ACCESS) are pleased to invite you to attend ACCESS' Volunteer Grief Mentor Training Conference in New York City on November 8-9, 2003.   The one of its kind Volunteer Grief Mentor Training conference will bring together individuals from around the country who have all survived or lost loved ones in prior air disasters, providing them with the skills necessary to deliver consistent and effective quality responses that promote healing and recovery.  Conference Location: The United Way of New York City, 2 Park Ave. (at 33rd St.).   All conference fees and program materials will be provided by ACCESS. This includes a cocktail reception on Friday evening and breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday.  The only expense to participants will be travel and accommodations.  You can register and receive up-to-date information at: http://www.accesshelp.org.  If you have questions please call: 917-549-3364. 

Resources

Mental Health Assistance
The 9/11 Mental Health and Substance Abuse program was created by the September 11th Fund and the American Red Cross to provide financial assistance for out of pocket expenses for mental health and substance abuse treatment to individuals who lost loved ones in the events of September 11th.  The program is designed to supplement existing insurance coverage or to assist individuals who are uninsured and covers out of pocket expenses for services such as counseling and medications for mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. To determine eligibility to enroll in the program, or for other information, please call 1-800-Lifenet.

Port Authority Transcripts of the recordings from radios used at the WTC on 9/11/01
To access the site for families, click on this link http://www.panynj.gov/transcripts/index.php.  You will need to enter as the “user” name the victim’s first initial and last name, i.e. Arthur Brody would be abrody.  The “password” is the RM number assigned by the New York City Medical Examiners Office.  If you do not have this number and you are next of kin, you can call the ME’s office at 212-447-7884.  If you have other questions or need additional information, including how to use the site, please contact George Gajewski at http://www.ggajewsk@panynj.gov.

Disaster Assistance 
To review testimony related to 9/11 Disaster Assistance and the Environment, please visit the following site:
http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-03-1174T

To review information on FEMA’s Post 9/11 Public Assistance, please view the following report:
http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-03-926

To locate your local elected officials, please visit the following website:
http://capwiz.com/stickers/?dir=medgroup&lvl=C&azip=10007&x=19&y=19
Once at the site enter your zip code and a listing of your elected officials will appear.

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.