FOS11 Newsletter, Volume #3, Issue #10September

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

There is much, perhaps too much, going on in the world right now and it's hard to know how to take it all in. The attacks on the Russian flights, the continued bombings, the reminders of 9/11 are all images of sorrow and terror played out in the news that can reawaken fear, grief and sadness in all of us, especially at this time of year.

That is why we remain dedicated to providing you and your family with the tools we think can help you. Our Children of September 11 webpage is up and running and filled with information, including the first in a series of "tools for parents." This month you'll find tips on smoothing your child's transition back to school. Our feature article is written by FOS11 Advisory Board Chairman Hans Ephraim-Abt, a longtime families advocate. In this newsletter, we also report on the progress of the FOS11 Chat Program, which has been hugely popular. Lastly, we continue to keep you up-to-date and informed about Commission-related activities as well as other important news.

We wish you strength in the coming weeks.

Issues Update

An Open Letter to Schools
With the new school year upon us, Families of September 11 has contacted our nation's leading educators, including the commissioners and superintendents of each state's Department of Education, to remind them that it is the responsibility of schools, teachers, counselors and other officials to act in the best interests of children, both those who are openly suffering from the effects of 9/11 as well as those who may be suffering in silence.

As a part of our mission to promote the interests of victims' families and to increase awareness of the issues they face, FOS11 has encouraged schools to: 1) support sensitivity training programs to assist teachers and counselors; 2) partner with parents and caregivers in decisions about school curriculum that pertains to 9/11; and 3) limit the exposure of children to violent images of 9/11 in the classroom. We encourage our members to share this letter with their children's schools, teachers, counselors, PTA groups and other family members and to visit our recently launched Children of September 11 webpage (see announcement below). Read the Open Letter to Schools.

Legislative Update
This past month, several Families of September 11 Board Members have presented testimony to Senate and House committees convened to discuss the 9/11 Commission recommendations and broader issues of safety and security. Working with the Families Steering Committee and other families groups, FOS11 continues to be "on the ground" in DC and elsewhere, speaking on behalf of the Commission's recommendations and urging members of the Executive and Legislative branches to act responsibly, decisively and quickly. Most recently, on August 19, 2004, at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled "The 9/11 Commission and Recommendations for the Future of Federal Law Enforcement and Border Security," testimony by FOS11 Board Chairman Don Goodrich was put into the record by Senator Patrick Leahy. Read Don Goodrich's testimony.

Chat Report
The FOS11 Chat Program was launched in August with the first two chat discussions held on August 11 and August 26. The chat sessions provide an opportunity to talk with other family members about a number of issues; the first two chat discussions centered on the theme of resiliency and growth. Each FOS11 chat session requires pre-registration and is moderated by a professional. A number of family members expressed interest and registered for the chat sessions. The second session saw many of the same people returning to continue their conversations and welcome new people. These new online chat sessions provide an environment of mutual acceptance and understanding. The chats prioritize support and give participants the opportunity to hear and benefit from the experiences of those who have found helpful strategies and approaches in their lives following the loss of their loved ones on September 11, 2001. While anonymity and privacy are maintained, the chat sessions allow family members from distant geographic points to come together, in the same place and at the same time. Although any support group is not a substitute for professional care, there are a number of resources posted in the chat room where family members can find more information on other organizations and/or professionals in their area. Look for an Action Alert announcing the next chat session, currently planned for the end of September. For more information or questions, please call our office or email info@familiesofseptember11.org.

Commitment in the Aftermath of Tragedy
In this article, FOS11 Advisory Board Chairman Hans Ephraim-Abt reflects on the manner in which some families affected by cataclysmic events like 9/11 become galvanized into acting to affect change. Hans lost his oldest daughter on Korean Airlines Flight 007, which was downed by a Soviet fighter plane on September 1, 1983, and crashed into Soviet territorial waters. Since that time, he has been an active advocate, serving as the Chairman of the American Association for Families of KAL007 Victims and, since 2000, the spokesman for the Air Crash Victims Group, an umbrella group of organizations representing families of victims of major international air crashes. Read the article.

Upcoming Events

Hope not Hate -- September 8—October 12, 2004
Families of September 11 is cosponsoring an unprecedented series of town hall meetings across the country dealing with the subject of relations between the U.S. and the Muslim community. These meetings will take place in 30 locales between September 8 and October 12. The series, called "Hope not Hate," will feature broad, inclusive conversations between citizens and a bipartisan coalition of policymakers, journalists, military officials, and scholars. FOS11 Executive Director Nikki Stern will join the panel at the first town hall meeting in New York City on September 8 and FOS11 Board Member Thomas Rogér will be a panelist for the New Haven, CT, town hall panel discussion on September 21. FOS11 Board Members will also appear on a number of other panels, including: Elinor Stout (Boston), Carie Lemack (Harvard University, Cambridge, MA), Danielle Lemack (Chicago and Evanston, IL) and Donald Goodrich (Amherst, MA). For more information about the town hall series, please visit www.hopenothate.org.

Teaching 9-11 -- September 9, 2004
Families of September 11 Board Member Thomas H. Rogér will speak on a panel on "Exhibits and Memorials" as part of Teaching 9-11: The Role of Media, Museums and Schools in Constructing National Memory, an event hosted by Dickinson College and the Smithsonian Museum of American History. The event culminates in a "Best Practices in Education" award for creative 9/11-related curricula for grade schools through post-secondary education. FOS11 President MaryEllen Salamone was one of four judges for the competition. Open to the public, the event will be held on Thursday, September 9, 2004, from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM in the Smithsonian's Carmichael Auditorium at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington D.C. A reception following the conference is also open to the public. Read the press release. Also, please visit www.teaching9-11.org, which features hundreds of useful links for teachers including sample lessons plans and syllabi.

Liberty Sate Park Site Dedication -- September 10, 2004
There will be a site dedication on September 10 at 3:30 PM at Liberty State Park -- the location of the September 11 memorial to be built honoring the 710 New Jersey residents killed in the attacks -- followed by a private reception with the Governor for the families of those victims. For further information, please call (609) 777-1248.

Memorial Ceremony at Ground Zero -- September 11, 2004
The Memorial Ceremony will start at 8:00 AM. In observance of the time when the first plane struck the North Tower (8:46 AM) there will be a statewide moment of silence, and houses of worship will toll their bells throughout the city. This will start the reading of the names, which will be read by parents and grandparents related to those lost. Families will be able to descend to the lowest level of the site where they can lay flowers. There will be moments of silence to observe when the second plane hit the South Tower (9:03 AM), the fall of the South Tower (9:59 AM) and the fall of the North Tower (10:29 AM). The reading of names will continue. Taps will be performed by the FDNY and NYPD. The ceremony will conclude with a final music performance. The Tribute in Lights will begin at dusk and will stay lit throughout the evening. A ferry service will run between Liberty State Park and the ceremony. For more information, please contact cferer@cityhall.nyc.gov or call (212) 442-8953.

For more events and anniversary memorials, please view our calendar.

Resources

Children of September 11 -- Webpage Launch
Families of September 11 recently launched a companion webpage, Children of September 11. This page provides relevant information for parents, caregivers and advocates of children affected by 9/11, including resources, articles, and a platform for discussion. Please visit www.childrenofseptember11.org and don't forget to post your thoughts on the new Children of September 11 bulletin board or email us at info@familiesofseptember11.org.

September TOOL -- Tools and Tips for Parents and Caregivers: The New School Year
Families of September 11 has assembled a package of "tools" for parents that we will update periodically. This first in a series of tips for parents and caregivers deals with guiding your children back to school. It consists of articles by professionals who deal with children affected by trauma and ideas for initiating a parent/teacher dialogue about your child and provoking thought and attention by school administrators as to how schools might better related to children affected by the events of September 11. Click here for complete details.

9/11 Tribute Education Center
This project is planned to preserve for future generations the story of 9/11 and the months that followed by those who were there. The educational center will house the archives of these firsthand accounts, provide personal profiles of those who perished and establish programs where the 9/11 community interfaces with thousands of regular visitors to the site of the former World Trade Center, including tours of the site. Learn more about this program.

An Artistic Tribute to 9/11
In November 2002, Pete Efstathiadis created a representational piece of art based on the 9/11 tragedy. Titled "Rain," the piece measures 38' x 60" and is composed of more than 3,500 colorful rings and circles. In Pete's words, "the colors are symbolic of emotions, dreams, hopes and all that is good for a brighter future that these people felt on the morning of 9/11/01." For this tribute to be completed, Pete would like for the names of those lost to be written in individual rings by the loved ones left behind. He would like to donate this painting so it can be completed at a space convenient to all. You can view the painting at http://peteeworld.netfirms.com in the main gallery. To become involved or for more information, you can reach Pete at (215) 425-2568 (home), (215) 624-1061 (work), or peteesart@hotmail.com.

9/11 Quilts Available
Susan Moore is offering to donate to family members a limited number of quilts made by Lexies in memory of 9/11. These lap-size quilts measure approximately 40" x 40". Lexies is a group founded by members of Alex Anderson's message board (Alex Anderson is a well-known quilter, author, designer and the host of Simply Quilts television show). All of the quilts are labeled with "Made with our hands with little pieces of our hearts. In Memory of September 11, 2004." If you would like a quilt, please contact Susan Moore at Sujielee@comcast.net.

Free Postcards Available
Nancy Pierce Fox would like to donate postcards to family or friends that lost their loved ones on September 11, 2001. At www.neverforget.org you can see the picture that her husband Mark Fox took of the lights that lit the sky as part of the Tribute in Light memorial. Nancy and Mark originally printed these cards and postcards and donated them to various charities for use as a fundraising tool.  One hundred percent of the proceeds were donated to police, fire and safety emergency heroes for their ongoing endeavors to protect us all. If you would like copies of the postcards, please contact Nancy can at info@neverforget.org, pierceny@aol.com or (703) 548-8705.

Honor 911 -- Commemorative Items
Honor 911 was created by Howard Lippin to honor the victims, survivors and heroes of 9/11. Through the sales of commemorative products, Honor 911 will raise funds for charities specifically focused on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and United Airlines flight 93. Those charities currently include Navy League LifeRing Fund and the Somerset County Flight 93 Memorial. Items for sale include t-shirts, caps, flags, bumper stickers, magnets and more. For more information, visit www.honor911.com.

For more resources, please click here.

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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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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