Yesterday we launched the new VOICES of September 11 th website! Our team has been working hard over the past several months in an effort to launch the site before the fifth anniversary. As you visit VOICES I hope you will find that the site is more interactive and easier to navigate. I want to thank the VOICES team and especially Oliver Longwell, our Communications Director and Tom Suchecki, our webmaster, for leading this effort. We would appreciate hearing your thoughts and stay tuned, because the website will continue to grow as we add content over the next several weeks and months.
On a far different note, I have forwarded you information on the film, On Native Soil, a film about the creation of the 9/11 Commission. Many 9/11 family members viewed the film this week in New York City. As I mentioned, I want to warn families that some of the visuals may be difficult to watch, but I would encourage those who are interested in learning more about the creation of the 9/11 Commission and the 9/11 recommendations to view this important documentary.
Thanks to all of you who have registered for the VOICES’ Information Forum scheduled for September 10 th and Commemorative Luncheon on 11 th. If you have not registered please do so. Visit our website for an updated calendar of events. Please do not miss it!
As always, we are here to listen and support your needs.
VOICES is very excited to announce the launch of our new website. Thanks to your input and months of dedicated work from our team and the outstanding web-design firm VanGennep Design, VOICES believes we have a web-based product that will help serve the ongoing needs of the 9/11 Community and the general public for years to come. The best way for you to get acquainted with the site is to visit lf and explore (www.voicesofsept11.org), but below are brief summaries of some of the most important features of the site with direct links. As always, we need your help to make the new website the best it can be. Send us an email with suggestions or comments, or post your ideas in the new Discussion Forum.
Remembering and Healing: Learn more about the support programs VOICES provides for all those affected by September 11th.
VOICES for Change: Learn more about VOICES efforts to support the implementation of the 9/11 Commission recommendations and advocate for legislation to implement necessary security and government reforms.
VOICES Around the World: Learn more about VOICES Building Bridges program, which fosters outreach and cultural exchange programs to communities affected by terrorism around the world.
9/11 Living Memorial: The 9/11 Living Memorial is a collaboration between September’s Mission, led by Monika Iken and Voices of September 11. The 9/11 Living Memorial is a is an online resource dedicated to preserving memories of the victims of the September 11th attacks, as well as the inspirational stories of heroism and sacrifice told by survivors and rescue and recovery workers. Also housed here are heartfelt responses to the attacks: songs, poems, artwork, quilts and other works dedicated to those lost on 9/11 and those who carry on. We will Always Remember. The 9/11 Living Memorial is a work in progress, and we hope you will help us by submitting content and suggestions.
Forum and Luncheon Information and Registration: We have a special page dedicated to the Voices of September 11th annual September 10th Information Forum and September 11th Commemorative Luncheon to mark the Fifth Anniversary. The theme of the two day event is “Remember and Renew.” This page has a comprehensive schedule for the Forum and links for you to sign up.
Surveys: This section will host a “Question of the Week” online poll to gauge the feelings of VOICES website users on a hot topic. Also on this page are more in-depth surveys VOICES has conducted, including Our 9/11 Fifth Anniversary National Survey, which asked a representative sample of Americans questions on topics ranging from preparedness to the 9/11 Memorial at the WTC site.
Articles and guidance from Dr. Robin F. Goodman: Included here are the articles written for VOICES members throughout the year by Dr. Robin F. Goodman, VOICES Director of Family Programs. Dr. Goodman's articles are great resources for resiliency and wellness advice tailored to specific times in the year.
Discussion Forum: This feature allows VOICES website users to discuss topics of interest to them or offer comments on the site.
Calendar: A monthly view of events of interest to the 9/11 Community. Check back for regular updates, especially for the many events around the anniversary.
Newsroom: The News Room section of the website is designed to make it easier for members of the media to learn about what we do here at VOICES, as well as facilitating contact between the media and members of the 9/11 Community who wish to be interviewed. Also hosted here are VOICES press releases and news articles that feature quotes from Mary Fetchet.
Preliminary construction on the WTC Memorial began Wednesday with excavation for the footings of “Reflecting Absence,” by Michael Arad and Peter Walker. "Today we are starting construction. This is a process and I'm looking forward to the completion of this process but it's an incredible moment to be here today and see it begin," Arad is quoted in a New York Observer article.
The Memorial is scheduled for completion by September 11, 2009. The memorial design was revised this year to cut the cost down to $500 million. "It's taken some time to navigate, but today we're starting this heavy construction, and it's a powerful signal that we're actually building the memorial now," said WTC Memorial Foundation Acting President Joe Daniels, as quoted in a New York One report . Daniels heads the ongoing effort to raise the remaining $170 million needed to finance the Memorial. Hopefully, the ongoing drilling and excavation work will encourage donors who have held back their support thus far.
Narrated by Academy Award® winners Kevin Costner and Hilary Swank, "On Native Soil" thoughtfully details the personal stories of tragedy and triumph that led to the formation of the 9/11 Commission and the publication of the Commission's landmark report. From miraculous individual feats of survival to testimony during the 9/11 Commission investigation, this moving documentary features never-before-seen interviews from 9/11 family members, survivors and others directly touched by the tragedy, including VOICES Founding Director Mary Fetchet.
Also included are interviews and testimony by members of the 9/11 Family Steering Committee who pushed for the creation of the 9/11 Commission, as well as Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman, former top-level FBI and CIA counterterrorism officials, survivors and many others. "On Native Soil" is a Jeff Hays Films Production, produced by Linda Ellman and Jeff Hays. Directed by Linda Ellman and Co-Executive Producer Alan Winters. The documentary is rated TV-14 and does contain images of the attacks that may be difficult for some 9/11 Family Members to view. If you’d like to read the press release visit our website.
Premieres Monday, August 21 at 10pm ET/PT/9 PM CT on Court TV
Encores Sunday, August 27 at 2pm & Sunday, September 10 at 12pm
The On Native Soil DVD Special Edition DVD will be in stores August 22.
Dianne Brudnicki -- A Seattle art teacher, personally financed a book of artwork created by her students that was distributed to 9/11 families. The children’s artwork has been featured on the VOICES website and on display at our annual Information Forum. This year, Dianne’s students created "friendship boxes," wooden or metal containers decorated with expressions of friendship and support, created for the 9/11 children. Click here to watch a KOMO (Seattle) TV report on this wonderful project that will be distributed to the 9/11 children at the VOICES September 10th Information Forum and September 11th Commemorative Luncheon.
In addition to recording in private room at the Marriott Financial Center during VOICES September 10th Information Forum, to help accommodate all who are interested, StoryCorps booths in New York City will be open extended hourson September 9, 10, and 11. The Lower Manhattan booth, which is near the Mariott Hotel, will have reservation slots available every hour beginning at 9:30 am, with the last slot starting at 7:30 pm. The booth at Grand Central Terminal will also be open and accepting reservations. To make a reservation at either of these booths, please call Tracy at 646.723.7025 x32. Please visit our web site at www.storycorps.net for guidance in preparing for your interview and to hear short excerpts of past recordings.
VOICES of September 11th wants to help you get the word out about memorial events taking place around September 11th this year. If you are planning an event, please email us with the event name, date, location, and contact information as well as a brief description. We are soliciting information on various types of events including: Memorial Foundation fundraisers, community remembrances and memorial dedications, mental health or resiliency support, cultural events, informational meetings, and others as well. A running calendar of events has been posted on our website and will continue to be updated. Add your event to our listings today!