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July 20, 2007

 

 

DEAR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS,

 

This week an announcement was made that the Official NYC Commemorative Events on September 11th will take place at Zuccotti Park, adjacent to the WTC site. For those families who may not have received the letter, we have included a link below.  A formal invitation from the city will be forthcoming, though It is our understanding that no family members will be turned away.  P & T case numbers and Memorial Park identification cards will also be acceptable for admission.. Concerns about space constraints in Zuccotti Park and access to the WTC site have been expressed to city officials.    

Planning continues for our September 10th "Preserving 9/11" Forum and 9/11 Living Memorial exhibits.  Our  September 11th Commemorative Luncheon will begin immediately following the NYC official events at Zuccotti Park. In the coming weeks you will be receiving an invitation in the mail.  We hope you and your family will join us for this year’s annual two day event.

  

The 9/11 Living Memorial project continues to grow, thanks to your participation and the diligence of our staff and summer interns. This week newsletter features a family tribute page created in memory of Yelena Belilovsky, whose vibrancy and drive shine through in photographs and recollections from the family she loved so dearly.

 

Yesterday I joined other 9/11 family members in Washington to attend the Conferee meeting, in which the House and Senate appointees met to debate provisions of the 9/11 legislation.   Prior to the meeting, Commissioners Lee Hamilton and Tim Roemer joined Speaker Pelosi, Congressman Bennie Thompson and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee to support a bi-partisan effort to pass the legislation.  Congress is now at a critical juncture to legislate the remaining 9/11 recommendations.  We are hopeful that the legislation will swiftly pass through the Conference committee and make its way to the President's desk for signature with a common goal to make the country safer.

 

Warm Regards,

 

Mary Fetchet

Founding Director

 

 

VOICES PROGRAMS AND EVENTS

 

"Preserving 9/11" Forum and Exhibits

 

VOICES is very excited to officially present the 9/11 Living Memorial project to our membership with a Forum and Exhibits on September 10th. Our database of Family Tributes, Memorials, and other commemorations of 9/11 continues to grow. Our weekly features section highlights notable additions to the database. Click for an archive of 9/11 Living Memorial features.

 

The Forum will include hands-on workshops, panel discussions and displays that will feature 9/11 Living Memorial pages created by family members. A number of exhibits will showcase the vision and mission for the 9/11 Living Memorial and document the project's progress thus far.

 

Please continue to visit the VOICES 2007 Forum and Luncheon page for regular program updates. A full schedule of events for the Forum and Luncheon will be included in VOICES Fall Quarterly Newsletter, arriving in your mailbox in early August.

 

 

9/11 Living Memorial Feature

 

Family Tribute To Yelena Belilovsky

 

They say that life is a journey, and nobody’s more so than Yelena Belilovsky. Born in Ukraine in 1963, she lived through the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster and the fall of the Soviet Union before immigrating to the United States in 1993. She experienced the “excitement of becoming part of the greatest country in the world, difficulties of getting used to the unfamiliar environment, hardship of starting all over again, and deep satisfaction of finally finding home,” says her brother Ross Tisnovsky, citing her degree from Pratt University as evidence of her ambition and work ethic. This hard work led to her promotion to Assistant Vice President of Fred Alger Management, only eight short years after her arrival.

 

In the Fall of 2001, Yelena was celebrating her son Eugene’s Bar Mitzvah; she was a “proud mother, confident and ambitious professional, and a very happy person.” Eugene is now completing his degree at Cornell University. Family was very important to Yelena, who would spend hours every day commuting across Westchester County to save money while she was a student at Pratt. Her family tribute page illustrates her love for her husband and son through beautiful photographs of vacations and family events.

 

Yelena’s tribute page also includes letters from coworkers and friends celebrating her character and skill. Though her drive to succeed is apparent in her accomplishments, these short anecdotes reveal a woman who could “make [you] laugh,” one who “was what America was all about.” In a letter to her husband, a former professor of Yelena’s wrote that he wished America could have given Yelena more time to fulfill her dreams. With a strong head and loving heart, Yelena achieved something that most people don’t ever reach in their lifetimes – fulfillment.

 

Thanks to Yelena Belilovsky's family for sharing their moving remembrances and wonderful pictures with the 9/11 Living Memorial. To read more, please visit Yelena’s Family Tribute page. To add your loved one's story to the 9/11 Living Memorial, please contact us.

 

EVENTS AND INFORMATION FOR THE 9/11 COMMUNITY

 

Press Conference and House-Senate Conferee meeting

 

 

Yesterday, Mary Fetchet joined other 9/11 family members at a press conference and House-Senate Conferee meeting in Washington, D.C.  The press conference preceded the first meeting of the House and Senate Conferees appointed to finalize the legislation implementing the 9/11 Commission recommendations. To read the transcript of the press conference in its entirety, click the following link: Transcript

 

Following the press conference the House/Senate Conferees gathered to discuss provisions of the 9/11 legislation.  The meeting marked a considerable step towards the goal of a safer, more secure America.  The 9/11 legislation includes provisions that strengthen national security in the areas of: interoperability, port and air cargo security, Intel declassification, rail and transit security, homeland security based on risk and vulnerability, securing nuclear weapons and a strong privacy and civil liberties board.  An open letter to the Conferees on the 9/11 bill was submitted for the Congressional record from the 9/11 Families.   

 

For more information about the proceedings read the following articles:

 

 

Official New York Commemorative Events Announced

Letter from City and State outlines September 11th 2007 Events

 

--Commemorative Events will be held at Zuccotti Park, at Liberty St. between Broadway and Church St./Trinity Place because of ongoing construction at the WTC site.

 

--Responders to the attack will read the names of those lost.

 

--The "Tribute in Light" will return at sundown on the 11th.

 

--A second letter serving as an invitation to the events will be forthcoming. However, P & T case numbers and Memorial Park identification cards will also be acceptable as credentials for admission.

 

--More information will be forthcoming. Until then, read the full letter and call (212) 442-8953 with questions.

 

 

White House Releases Draft WTC Health Plan


The Bush Administration has released a draft health care and medical monitoring plan for workers who have grown sick from their exposure to toxins near the WTC site. New information in the plan dramatically illustrates the extent of post-9/11 health effects. As of April 2007, nearly 34,000 9/11 responders were enrolled in medical monitoring programs operated by a consortium of World Trade Center health clinics, including those at Mt. Sinai Hospital and the New York City Fire Department, and this number is expected to grow to at least 55,000 -but potentially as many as 65,000- responders within the next two years. The consortium currently requires $195 million per year to operate federally-funded health clinics, but will need between $428 and $712 million per year over the next five years to provide comprehensive treatment and monitoring. New York politicians applauded the plan, but pointed out that it does not take downtown Manhattan residents, school children, or non-first responder workers into account or outline how the programs will be funded. The draft report is available here. Or, click to read more in VOICES Health Effects section.

 

 

VOICES Website UPDATES

 

VOICES website will be down this weekend

 

The VOICES website will be down over the weekend as we make a change in Hosting Providers. Please bear with us while we make this needed and unexcepted change. Everything should be back to normal by start of business Monday morning.

 

DHS Urban Grants Announced

Chertoff Claims "Biggest Year Ever" for NYC Grants; Local Politicians Dubious

7.19.07 New York City will receive a boost in Homeland Security funding next year, but officials from all levels of government say DHS is still shortchanging the metro area. Annual Urban Areas Security Initiative grant funding increased $10 million, to $134 million, yet remained 37 percent below its 2005 peak. When supplemented by other grant programs, including $34.8 million to improve first responder communications, New York's grant package is will be greater that $257 million. Chertoff characterized this figure as New York's "biggest year ever," while acknowledging "you can't satisfy everybody," according to Associated Press coverage. Funding for the District and its Maryland and Virginia suburbs climbed to nearly $62 million, a $15 million increase and the biggest boost among seven urban areas deemed at highest risk of attack. Some first-time grant winners this year were Norfolk, El Paso and Providence, R.I. In total, DHS announced a total of $1.7 billion in state and local grants and $1 billion more specifically to improve police and fire department communication. Read more in VOICES Preparedness Updates.

 

Report: al-Qaeda Back to pre-9/11 Strength


7.15.07 From the Associated Press: "U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded al-Qaeda has rebuilt its operating capability to a level not seen since just before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The conclusion suggests that the group that launched the most devastating terrorist attack on the United States has been able to regroup along the Afghan-Pakistani border despite nearly six years of bombings, war and other tactics aimed at crippling it. Still, numerous government officials say they know of no specific, credible threat of a new attack on U.S. soil... read full article. Or read more in VOICES Preparedness Updates.

 

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Copyright © 2006 Voices of September 11th.  All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

VOICES of September 11 th is a nonpartisan advocacy group .
VOICES provides services and advocates for families and all those affected by September 11th; promotes public policy reform on prevention, preparedness and response to terrorism;
and builds bridges between international communities changed by terrorism.