Voices Newsletter

December 22, 2010

Dear Families and Friends,

As we approach the holiday season and 2010 comes to a close, it's a time of reflection. All of us at VOICES feel honored to continue to provide information, support services and programs for the 9/11 community. We also remain committed to promoting resilency and preparedness in our communities. In addition, this year our work with survivors, rescue and recovery workers has grown and we are seeing many new families for the first time. With the 10th anniversary approaching we expect this trend to continue.

With your participation, the 9/11 Living Memorial Project has grown to a collection of over 50,000 digital images which are posted on our website and have been transferred to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. I recently visited the Memorial site in New York City with VOICES' 9/11 Living Memorial Project Manager, Debbie Westfal and other 9/11 families. We had an opportunity to see where the 9/11 Living Memorial Project will be on display. The Memorial is truly inspiring! We have included a couple of articles about the panels where your loved ones' names will be inscribed, the beautiful trees that were planted, including the survivor tree that was planted today.

Reflecting on this year, we asked our friend, videographer Jean Garten, to prepare a short video to highlight our activities. Our 2010 recap includes our Benefit with Tony Blair and Peter Yarrow, the September 10th Forum in NYC, the Best Practices conference at Rutgers University, a number of 9/11 Exhibits, and dozens of Living Memorial workshops in communities around the country. View the VOICES 2010 Video.

VOICES has joined with others to strongly advocate for the passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. At this writing, the Senate appears to have reached an agreement and the bill is expected to be voted on later this afternoon. As Congress comes to a close we are hopeful that the rescue and recovery workers receive the support and care that they deserve.

As you gather with family and friends, we send our best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season. All of us at VOICES thank you for your friendship, support and guidance this year. We look forward to working with you and your family in the New Year!

Warm Regards
Mary Fetchet & The VOICES Staff


9/11 Living Memorial
Workshop Appointments

New Canaan, Connecticut
Monday - Friday

New Brunswick, New Jersey
Tuesdays and Thursdays

New Brunswick, New Jersey

Middletown, New Jersey
Thursday, January 6th

New York, New York
Thursday, January 20th

Holbrook, New York
Tuesday, January 25th

For a full schedule of upcoming
workshop appointments Click Here.

VOICES Teleconference Schedule

Tuesday, December 28th:
Witness/Survivors' Support Group
4:00pm to 5:00pm

Tuesday, January 4th:
Firefighter Mothers' Group
10:00am to 11:00am

Tuesday, January 17th:
Rockland County In-Person Group
7:00pm to 9:00pm

Wednesday, January 19th:
Siblings' Teleconference Group
2:30pm to 3:30pm

Tuesday, January 24th:
Witness/Survivors' Support Group
4:00pm to 5:00pm

For a full schedule of upcoming teleconference groups Click Here.

For a complete list of events visit our website at www.voicesofsept11.org.

To add an event to our calendar contact newsletters@voicesofsept11.org.


New Year's Resolution: Attend A Living Memorial Workshop
VOICES staff will continue to focus in the next year on helping family members to prepare Living Memorials for their loved ones. Workshops will be held in your local communities and at our offices in New Canaan, CT. and New Brunswick, NJ. Please note that on Thursday, January 6th we will host our first workshop of the year at the Middletown Township Public Library in Middletown, New Jersey.

The holiday time is a good time to talk with your family members about collecting photos and other keepsakes for your Living Memorial project. We can begin your project when you submit just 10 photos. We encourage you to begin this process now so that you can be sure your loved one is included in the exhibit at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum when it opens on September 11, 2012.

For a full list of upcoming workshops click here. If you would like to schedule a workshop in your community, contact Michelle Doherty in our New Canaan office at 203-966-3911 or mdoherty@voicesofsept11.org.

VOICES Annual Holiday Party on December 14th in New Brunswick, New Jersey
Holiday Party PhotoThe holidays is a wonderful time to gather together! We were glad to see old friends and new ones at our annual holiday party in our New Brunswick office. The party was hosted by our New Brunswick staff and it gave us the opportunity to introduce our newest staff member, Sheri Burkat. A few family members brought additional photographs to include in the Living Memorial. We also celebrated the news that Jamie Hakim's daughter was born on December 13th. Many of you have had an opportunity to work with Jamie in her capacity as social worker in our New Brunswick office. We are very happy to report that mother, daughter, sister and Dad are all doing fine!

Sheri Burkat Joins VOICES New Brunswick Office
Sheri Burkat PhotoSheri joins us as the Program Director at VOICES' New Brunswick office. In addition to her party planning skills (see story above), she is a licensed social worker. Although Sheri has only been with us a few weeks, she has already participated in Living Memorial workshops on Long Island and in New Jersey. Sheri will manage the New Brunswick office and will provide direct services to families, survivors and first responders through support groups, Living Memorial workshops, case management and community outreach. Sheri is a graduate of Rutgers University, a Licensed Social Worker, a Disaster Response Crisis Counselor through the New Jersey Department of Mental Health Services, and a Lead Response Counselor for the Sussex County Traumatic Loss Coalition.

Living Memorial Workshop in Rockville Center
Workshop Appointment Photo VOICES staff hosted workshops in the tri-state area including some new communities.
On November 30th, VOICES conducted its first Living Memorial workshop held at the Rockville Centre Public Library. Staff members from both the New Canaan and New Brunswick offices, as well as family member volunteers, participated in the workshops. A family member from the Rockville Centre community helped to organize the workshop for eighteen family members and friends in the area. VOICES will be returning to Rockville Center to conduct another workshop on Tuesday, February 15th. For a full list of upcoming workshops visit our website.

VOICES 2010 Year In Review Video - View Our Video
VOICES Year in Review
Our staff videographer Jean Garten, volunteered her time to prepare a short video to highlight some of VOICES activities. Our 2010 recap includes our Benefit with Tony Blair and Peter Yarrow, the September 10th Forum in NYC, the Best Practices conference at Rutgers University, a number of 9/11 Exhibits, and dozens of Living Memorial workshops in communities around the country. Thanks to the dedication and commitment of our staff, interns and volunteers we made significant accomplishments in 2010. Our thanks to Jean for putting the video together!

Fred Gabler Helping Hand Camp Event - Spiderman Performance
The Fred Gabler Camp Fund was established in honor of Fred Gabler, who lost his life on 9/11 when at work for Cantor Fitzgerald in the North Tower. The Camp Fund provides financial assistance to organizations that provide opportunities for underprivileged children to have the same experiences at summer camp that Fred enjoyed. Their Spring Fundraiser is a matinee performance of Spiderman on Broadway on Sunday, April 10th at 3PM. More.

5 Borough Bike Tour Sign Up
VOICES is pleased to announce that we have been selected as one of 30 charity partners for the 2011 Five Boro bike tour. This year's tour will take place on Sunday, May 1, 2011. Registration will take place in February. Last year some 32,000 cyclists saw for themselves that bicycling car-free through the Big Apple is the best way to see the town. For more information on how to participate as a VOICES rider, contact Stephanie at scowin@voicesofsept11.org.

Voices of September 11th Urges Senators to Support Zadroga Bill
Voices of September 11th calls on members of the United States Senate to come together to vote for the James Zadroga Health and Compensation Act which will provide health care and compensation for rescue and recovery workers who have been sickened after working on the pile at the World Trade Center site. More.

Deal clears the way for 9/11 health bill
An agreement to reduce the cost of a bill to provide health care for 9/11 first-responders assures passage of the measure Wednesday afternoon, key U.S. senators said. The new agreement will bring the cost of the measure down to $4.3 billion compared to the $6.2 billion cost in a previous version. More.

9/11 ‘Survivor Tree’ Spreads its Branches Over the World Trade Center Once Again
A tree that just barely survived the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11 returned to the World Trade Center site Wednesday as a symbol of renewal. "It is a testament to our ability to endure," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said as he replanted the now-flourishing callery pear near its onetime home. More.

Trees for 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero grown at Millstone nursery
On a cool, clear morning last week, a 10-year-old swamp white oak tree, its leaves shining a golden yellow, was hoisted high into the air by a crane at Ground Zero. More.

Reps. Maloney, Nadler & King on Senate Changes to 9/11 Health Bill
U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Jerrold Nadler & Peter King, the authors of H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, released the following joint statement on changes to the bill brokered today by Senators Gillibrand and Schumer to help secure Republican support in the Senate. More.

Fire Hydrant from World Trade Center Towers Featured on Float
The 9/11 Heroes Tribute Float for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade will feature a fire hydrant that was found all of one piece buried under the rubble and destruction of the New York World Trade Center Towers. More.

Bright Lights and Big Hearts Fill World Trade Center Workers' Holiday Gift to City
Joe Russo was in his Staten Island home two weekends ago when he made a pronouncement that would result in the most beautiful sight in the city. "I don't think I'm going to put up the tree this year," the 49-year-old electrician would recall saying. "I got a better idea." More.

Victims' Names Now Being Etched for 9/11 Memorial
Years in the making, the etching of the names has finally begun on the 152 brass panels that will form the centerpiece of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at Ground Zero. "I feel honored to be a part of it, to pay tribute to everybody who passed," said Les Storms, 56, a welder with Service Metal Fabricating in Rockaway, N.J. More.

Visit VOICES In The News for articles and announcements of interest to the 9/11 community.



©2009 Voices of September 11th. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

VOICES of September 11th is a nonpartisan advocacy group that provides services and advocates for 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. In 2006, VOICES launched the 9/11 Living Memorial digital archive that commemorates the lives and stories of September 11, 2001.