All of us at VOICES appreciate hearing from those of you who attended the September 10th Information Forum and September 11th Commemorative Luncheon. We received several heartwarming notes from families who attended for the first time and were happy to have an opportunity to connect with other families.
With the commemorative events behind us, we are now focused on our initiatives for the coming year – continuing to provide support to those affected, enhancing our newly launched website and the 9/11 Living Memorial site, and advocating for full implementation of the 9/11 Commission recommendations.
In closing, I would like to share a poem I came across when preparing for Brad’s Memorial Foundation event last week. I sent this poem to friends five years ago, who reached out to our family immediately following 9/11.
Perhaps you sent a lovely card,
Or sat quietly in a chair,
Perhaps you sent flowers,
If so, we saw them there.
Perhaps you spoke the kindest words,
As any friend could say.
Perhaps you were not there at all,
Just prayed for us that day.
Whatever you did to console our hearts,
We thank you so much whatever the part.
As I reflect on the 5th anniversary and the many compassionate individuals who have touched our lives in so many ways – family, friends, the growing 9/11 community and strangers - those words are still very meaningful today.
Feel free to forward any poems to firstname.lastname@example.org that you may have and we will include them on our website.
The "Memorials" section of the 9/11 Living Memorial (www.911livingmemorial.org) is a virtual counterpart to the countless brick-and-mortar memorials across the country. Some of these memorials are dedicated to the memory of one person, or to the members of a community who died in the 9/11 attacks. Many memorials across the country are dedicated to all who perished, as well as the heroism and self-sacrifice that saved so many lives on that day. The Memorials section is growing fast, with a state-by-state directory and comprehensive information about these amazing tributes.
This week, we are featuring a recently updated page for the Fenton Heroes Memorial in Fenton, Missouri. This exceptional memorial is the culmination of years of dedicated effort and private fundraising by the citizens of Fenton, a small city near St. Louis. The memorial consists of a polished granite wall with sections dedicated to the three separate locations of attacks on 9/11. The sections each contain inspirational quotes related to the heroism of 9/11, and the World Trade Center section features a sculpted model of the Twin Towers. The memorial includes a granite globe that “floats” on a thin curtain of water and spins easily at the touch of child's hand. This beautiful water feature was carefully selected and needed to be shipped from a quarry in Germany. Click here to visit the 9/11 Living Memorial page for the Fenton Heroes Memorial. They also have their own excellent website with more pictures and information.
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. Please contact family liaison Debbie Westfal at (203) 966-3911 for instructions on how to add your community's memorial to the 9/11 Living Memorial.
Next Week: 9/11 Reflections, poems, songs, art, artisanal objects, and your thoughts
Location: The Garden of Reflection www.9-11MemorialGarden.org will honor all 2973 loved ones we lost on September 11, 2001. Along the Remembrance Walk you will read each name etched in glass which will then lead to the center pool with twin fountains and our local dedication to the seventeen Bucks County residents we lost. The event will be rain or shine. Seating is limited and your best chance is to rsvp asap with name and number of attending to email@example.com.
For more information: Read Event Flyer
Demolition will move ahead at the controversial Deutsche Bank site, with a plan to dismantle the building from the top down while searching for remains on each floor. The roof of the building has been painstakingly searched and experts believe there are no more remains in that area, said Charles Maikish of the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center (LMCCC) at a Town Hall meeting called last night to provide details of the plan to community members and 9/11 Families. The LMCCC is the city-state organization charged with coordination and general oversight of all Lower Manhattan
construction projects worth more than $25 million.
The LMCCC announced its plans for the building, at 130 Liberty St., south of the WTC site, Wednesday in a statement available on its website. A report published today in the New York Daily News mischaracterized both the facts and the tone of last night's Town Hall meeting, according to Charles Wolf, a 9/11 Family Members in attendance. When contacted by VOICES, Diane Horning of WTC Families for Proper Burial gave the following statement regarding the meeting:
"Sally Regenhard, Charles Wolf and I, and several residents offered to serve on a committee where we could address all the issues raised, including the health and safety of workers and residents. Unlike the newspaper report, the meeting was calm, respectful and hopeful. While it is true that the presentation by the LMCCC did not address the issue of human remains, we are hopeful that our having raised the issue and gained the support of many residents will cause the LMCCC to give more emphasis to finding human remains. I will suggest that there be a separate budget and a separate time table in dealing with the human remains. Such sensitive work should not be under the general umbrella of a budget and a time schedule reserved for demolition and 'deconstruction.'"
Charles Wolf contacted VOICES to add the following: "The LMCCC only took over the issue last week [from the LMDC]. They do have a plan to look for the remains in the rest of the building, they just didn't talk about it in their presentation. However, they don't know what they're going to find. We made the point at the meeting that this issue should have been front and center from the beginning, and someone should be given the task of supervising the search for human remains." But Wolf sounded a hopeful note about the new agency in charge of rebuilding in Lower Manhattan. "These people care and they took to heart all of our suggestions without any defensive tone."
Extensive searches of the Deutsche Bank Building’s roof in the past year have found 760 separate human remains, indicating to many 9/11 Family Members that there may be more remains elsewhere in the building. A group of Family Members issued a statement this week calling attention to the need for close supervision of the deconstruction process. 130 Liberty St. is still shrouded in black five years after 9/11, a stark reminder of the lingering uncertainty regarding the final remains of the 2,749 people killed at the World Trade Center. The remains of about 1,150 have not been found or identified.
Attention 9/11 Rescue and Recovery Workers: The New York State Workers’ Compensation Law has just been changed to help you 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.
Visit the NYCOSH website to register and file a claim online. A Factsheet provides FAQ's and more information, or you can call 212-227-6440 ext. 23 (for English) or ext. 24 (for Spanish) to request a form.
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.