Over the past several weeks our social workers have received many calls due to recent tragedies. This Wednesday, news reports and images of an aircraft hitting a building in New York City brought back vivid memories of the confusion and shock we all felt on September 11th. Though we eventually realized it was not a terrorist attack, it quickly triggered feelings of uncertainty and vulnerability for many. The accident has also raised some very important questions about the security of New York City's airspace that we explore in this week's e-Newsletter.
Similarly, the loss of innocent young lives at the small schoolhouse in Pennsylvania and other recent school killings have caused concern about the safety of our children and communities. We can all associate with the shock and sorrow that follows such a cruel act. The hopeful response of the Amish community in the face of this tragedy has been a true inspiration as they have shown great strength and faith. Their unified support of one another has demonstrated the value of a compassionate community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of those affected in these tragic events.
On a related note, I received a poem from Patricia Tamuccio, Mother of Michael Tamuccio who worked for Fred Alger management on the 93rd floor of the North Tower. Patricia sent this poem in response to our request for 9/11poems.
“..after the loss of our Michael, a friend sent me the following anonymous poem, only it was entitled the ''death" of a child - I found that very uncomfortable and so changed it to the 'gift' of a child ...... I shared this poem with my teleconference group the other day and all seemed 'touched' by it......I hope you and anyone else it is shared with find the solace in it that I did ...... it hangs on the wall of my home office along with my Michael's eulogy and the poem that Diane Huggins created for him.....
'GIFT OF A CHILD'
I'll lend you for a little while
A child of mine, GOD said,
For you to cherish while he lives,
And mourn for when he's dead.
It may be six or seven years,
Or only two or three,
But will you, till I call him Home,
Look after him for me?
He'll bring his love to gladden you,
And should his stay be brief,
You'll have a host of memories
As solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay,
Since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught below
I want this child to learn.
I've looked the wide world over
In my search for teachers true
And, from the throng that crowd
Life's lane, at last I've chosen you.
Now will you give him all your love,
Nor think your labor vain, and
Turn against me when I come
To take him back again?
We have added the poem to Michael’s 9/11 Living Memorial page. The 9/11 Living Memorial is continuing to expand - thanks to Patricia and all of you who have sent in photographs and personal stories of your loved ones. We are very excited about the progress we’ve made in creating a digital archive to commemorate the lives lost and preserve the stories of 9/11. Visit www.911LivingMemorial.org and contact our office to coordinate adding photographs and content to the site.
As a reminder, in conjunction with the national annual depression screening day we will offer depression screenings over the phone Monday through Friday of next week. Details about the screenings are listed below.
VOICES Commemorative Events were a great success once again this year! A special page with a slideshow of images from the Commemorative Events has been posted on our website. Thanks to all who gave their time and talents to making this year's Forum and Luncheon the best yet. If you have photographs from the VOICES Commemorative Events or another commemorative event you attended around the September 11th anniversary, we would like to post them on our website. Please email digital photographs to firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at (866) 505-3911 to arrange a way to transfer digital or printed photos.
Click to visit the 2006 VOICES Commemorative Events Homepage
Voices of September 11th will offer free, anonymous depression and anxiety screenings over the telephone for people who think they may be suffering from depression. Since September 11th, 9/11 Families, Survivors and WTC site workers, as well as members of the general public are reporting symptoms of depression and anxiety.
The screenings will be offered on Monday, October 16 through Thursday October 19 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm EST and Friday, October 20 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm EST .
The screening takes approximately 15 minutes and is conducted by a mental health professional. Screenings are available for adults and adolescents who are at least 14 years of age. Parents of children ages 6 to 13 may call on behalf of their children. Callers will be asked to answer questions. Based on their responses, the screener will provide a score and explain the results. Appointments may also be scheduled for a face-to-face interview at the Voices of September 11th office, 93 Cherry Street, New Canaan, CT.
Information on anxiety depression and will be sent upon request and referrals will be made if necessary.
Contact the Voices of September 11th office at (203) 966-3911 or toll free at (866) 505-3911 for the screening for more information. If the times next week do not fit your schedule, VOICES mental health professionals are available year-round to conduct depression and anxiety screenings upon request Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm.
VOICES has posted an updated schedule of our teleconference and in-person support groups in the "Healing" section of our new website. As always, VOICES support groups are open to new members, but you must register with our office at 866-505-3911 before participating in a group.
The Sunday evening siblings teleconference will be moving to a new day and will be led by a new facilitator. Michelle Doherty, social worker, will be facilitating the group on Monday nights, beginning on October 23, at 7pm Eastern Standard Time. New members are welcome, however registration is required. If interested, please contact the VOICES office.
The trauma of 9/11 produced stirring works of art in response to the attacks, in honor of the victims, and in support of their families. The 9/11 Living Memorial is gathering these heartfelt artistic tributes into a "9/11 Reflections" section. "9/11 Reflections" includes poems, downloadable songs, and slideshows of art and artisanal work, such as quilts, by talented friends of the 9/11 community. Shown at left is a painting from the book "Messages of Hope, Peace and Love," which collected art made for 9/11 kids by a group of young art students in Seattle, Washington with the support of teacher Diane Brudnicki. They are beautiful and personal tributes of honor and love, as are all the works we are collecting in "9/11 Reflections."
This digital archive is growing rapidly. Please contact family liaison Debbie Westfal at (203) 966-3911 or (866) 505-3911 for instructions on how to add a "9/11 Reflection" to the 9/11 Living Memorial.
For more information on the 9/11 Living Memorial, read a press release announcing its launch. The 9/11 Living Memorial, officially debuted at VOICES Commemorative Events, was launched in cooperation with our friends at September's Mission.
Critics Let Fly About Lax NYC Air Traffic Control
The tragic consequences of Corey Lidle's sightseeing flight up the East River have led many political leaders and New York residents to question why flight rules for small airplanes are so lax around the City. Minutes after the accident, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) imposed temporary restrictions on East River airspace while it investigated. New York Governor George Pataki
called on the FAA to extend its restriction indefinitely, but the federal agency declined, reopening the east river to air traffic at 7 pm, about 4 hours after the accident. Flight restrictions were also imposed on other major U.S. cities and fighter jets were scrambled as part of a federal air defense plan created to counter another 9/11-type plot that turns aircraft into weapons. Read an Associated Press article for more information about the new response plan.
Many politicians have said that the current rules, which allow small airplanes to fly at low altitudes over the Hudson and East rivers without filing a flight plan or giving any notice to air traffic controllers, are a grave post-9/11 security risk. Some have noted the very strict prohibitions on small planes in place in Washington, D.C. and accused the FAA of a double standard. "If it's good enough for the president and the Congress, it's good enough for the 31/2 million people who work and live in Manhattan, said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) in an interview with the New York Post. He added: "A smart terrorist could fly right up the Hudson, or right up the East River, no questions asked, and that's what we've got to stop."
But the chorus calling for tougher restrictions is not unanimous. The FAA claims they are unnecessary, and New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, himself a licensed pilot of small aircraft, said "there are procedures that allow an awful lot of traffic there to safely move up and down the rivers, to do sightseeing and bring people into the city and take them out, for business and pleasure reasons," as quoted in the New York Sun. He also warned against overreacting to an accidental crash, claiming, "Every time you have an automobile accident you're not going to go and close the streets, or prohibit people from driving, and this may very well be the same thing." Bloomberg added that requiring small planes to file a flight plan and fly under the supervision of air traffic control could overburden the already strained controllers, who are responsible for large passenger and cargo plane traffic in New York's three major airports. Tighter restrictions “may make it less safe because the controllers can't handle the volume,” Bloomberg is quoted in USA Today Coverage.
Friday, October 13th
Perspectives Counseling Service First Annual Wellness Expo
Time: 2pm to 7pm
Perspectives will be highlighting their newly expanded services. Come and meet their innovative staff of professionals. Explore Lifestyle Eating; Massage Therapy; Group Workouts; Life Coaching; Hypnotherapy Yoga; Accupuncture/Accupressure; Smoking Cessation; Weight Loss; Kickboxing; The Ultimate You Studio; and Enchanting Cottage Holistic Center. Location: 20 Montauk Highway, Blue Point, NY 11715. Tel:
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) created World Trade Center Health Registry (WTCHR) Resource Guide for people affected September 11, 2001 attacks on the WTC that includes information about occupational, respiratory, environmental, and mental health facilities as well as other services and resources.
While many of the facilities, services and resources located in this resource guide are located New York City area, many other regional and national services and resources are also included. This is the fifth update to the Guide, originally released in fall 2003. Exploring this resource guide will link you with health facilities, services, and other resources that may be helpful to you. The following topics are covered: American Red Cross September 11 Recovery Program; Help With Health Insurance; Medical Screening, Exams, and Treatment; Occupational Screening, Exams, and Care; Respiratory Screening, Exams, and Care; Environmental Cleanings, Information, and Referrals; Mental Health Information and Referrals; Other New York City Resources; Other Services and Resources; Scholarships; and Clinical Guidelines.
To visit VOICES Resource Guides for those affected by 9/11, please click here.
Attention 9/11 Rescue and Recovery and Clean-Up Workers: The New York State Workers’ Compensation Law has just been changed to help you register to file a claim for workers’ compensation if you have a 9/11- related illness. The change also applies to workers and volunteers who are not sick, but who may become sick in the future because they were exposed to the toxic air after 9/11.
The first step is to apply for registration as a bona-fide WTC worker. Visit the NYCOSH website to download an application form, or get a form directly from the NY State Workers' Compensation Board. Then you must fill out the form, have it notarized and mail in into the Compensation Board. A Factsheet provides FAQ's and more information, or you can call 1-866-WTC-2556 to request a form. THIS FORM IS TO REGISTER, NOT TO FILE A CLAIM. YOU MUST REGISTER NOW TO PRESERVE YOUR RIGHT TO FILE A CLAIM AT ANY TIME IN THE FUTURE.
The deadline for registering is August 14, 2007. If you do not register before the deadline, you will never be able to collect workers’ compensation if you develop a 9/11-related illness later. Thousands of people who participated in rescue, recovery or cleanup work after 9/11 are now sick. Many more may become sick as a result of exposure to contaminated dust and smoke. The New York State Workers’ Compensation Law has been changed to allow someone who was exposed, but is not sick, to register. Registering now will protect your right to file a workers’ compensation claim if you become sick at any time in the future. The law also allows anyone who already filed a claim – but was turned down because the claim was filed too late – to re-file. If you do not register and are sick or become sick later, you will not be able to file or re-file a claim. Workers’ compensation pays all the medical expenses for a sickness or an injury that is work-related. It also pays two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to $400 a week if you cannot work because of work-related sickness or injury. Even if you are now healthy, but were exposed to contaminated air after 9/11, you must register now with the Workers’ Compensation Board to protect your right to file a claim if and when you become sick.
The Flag of Honor, one of the many outstanding tributes to the memory of those lost on September 11th is committed to giving one framed canvas copy of the flag to the next-of-kin of each of the victims. John Michelotti, who started the project has asked VOICES for help in finding the next-of-kin for the following people:
Brian McAleese, Christopher Newton,
Brian P. Monaghan Jr.
Michelotti is using money from the sale of replica Flags of Honor to finance the effort to provide one for each 9/11 Family, and is also accepting donations. The Flags of Honor are also available on the VOICES website. If you have contact information, even just a name, for the next-of-kin of any of these three men, or would like more information about the Flags of Honor, please contact VOICES family liaison Debbie Westfal at 866-505-3911, or through email@example.com