FOS11 Newsletter, Volume #5, Issue #11November 16, 2006

Welcome | Issues Update | Upcoming Events | Resources | Contact Us | Donate

Families of September 11 is now operating as the For Action Initiative. The web pages on this site are available for informational purposes only. Please visit us at


Families of September 11th extends our wishes for a healthy and safe Thanksgiving.  As we move into the holiday season, we hope that you find peace and healing with friends and family.  FOS11 is here to support you should you need it. Visit our website [], email us or call at (212) 575-1878 if we can be of service.  For tips on making the most of the holidays please read Coping through the Holidays, written by FOS11 staff member Brian Richardson, LCSW.   Click here to read the article.

In the weeks after the Thanksgiving holiday, FOS11 is offering a unique opportunity to “Tell Your Story” through an initiative with StoryCorps, Safe Horizon, and the World Trade Family Center.  The StoryCorps' September 11th Initiative offers anyone closely impacted by September 11th an invitation to participate in a StoryCorps interview (at no cost to the participants).  StoryCorps is recording:

  • The life stories of those who were lost on September 11th, by inviting their family members, friends, relatives, and coworkers to  record memories of their loved ones.  The recordings will memorialize and celebrate the lives they lived.
  • The stories of survivors, firefighters, police officers, rescue workers, witnesses, volunteers, or anyone closely impacted by September 11th, in order to preserve their extraordinary personal experiences for history.

At the end of the interview, participants receive a CD copy of their 40-minute recording. With participants' permission, these recordings also will become part of the StoryCorps archive at the Library of Congress and the permanent collection at the WTC Memorial Museum.

To support this partnership, FOS11 is hosting two chats with the topic, "Telling Your Story." The first took place on November 15th.   There will be a follow-up session on December 5th.   You are welcome to enroll, just click here

There are several locations available where FOS11 members can participate in StoryCorps:

  • Safe Horizon (Manhattan)
    On Tuesday, November 28th and Tuesday, Dec 5th, FOS11 members can participate in StoryCorps interviews at Safe Horizon (, 26 Broadway, Suite 767, New York, NY. To make a reservation, please call Nicole Robinson or Emily Lohman there at (212) 747-8581. Safe Horizon has counseling available to participants. Additional StoryCorps dates may become available soon.
  • WTC Family Center (Rockville Centre, Long Island)
    On Thursday, November 30th, FOS11 members can participate in StoryCorps interviews at the WTC Family Center ( To make a reservation, please call Margie Miller there at (516) 678-2700. The WTC Family Center has counseling available to participants. Additional StoryCorps dates may become available soon.
  • NYC StoryBooths and Additional Locations Nationwide
    For more information about StoryCorps or for reservations at any of the following locations, please call (646) 723-7027.
    In New York City, StoryCorps recording booths are located in the WTC PATH station and in Grand Central Terminal. StoryCorps also has two Mobile recording booths that are traveling the country. In November, the MobileBooths will be in Baltimore, Maryland, and Lawton, Oklahoma. In January, they will be in Houston, Texas, and Jackson, Mississippi. Additional locations will be available in 2007.

If you are unable to visit any of the locations listed, you may participate in the StoryKit program (free of charge) so that you can record an interview on your own. To learn more about StoryCorps, the interview process, or the StoryKit program, visit The website allows you to listen to excerpts of StoryCorps interviews and find question lists to help you prepare for your interview.

Issues Update

Coping Through the Holidays, by Brian Richardson, LSCW
We are approaching the fifth holiday season since the World Trade Center attacks. For some of us, the daily process of coping with the loss of a loved one has become somewhat less painful. As the time between our loss and the present grows, the holiday season can feel easier to manage. Because the holidays are so connected with family traditions and rituals however, many people continue to struggle with reminders that bring them back to their loss and grief. 

To read this article in full, click here. Please take care of yourself and your family, and have a safe holiday.

Look for new PSAs to support the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Ready Campaign and Get Ready
This week the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and The Advertising Council are releasing new public service advertisements (PSAs) to support the Ready Campaign.  Ready is a national public service advertising campaign produced by DHS and the Ad Council that is designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies.  

The PSAs unveiled today include television, radio, print, internet and outdoor versions that feature real families as well as a television ad featuring First Lady Laura Bush.  All of the new PSAs highlight the fact that many families have not yet taken the steps needed to prepare for emergencie.  These steps include: getting an emergency supply kit, making a family emergency plan and learning more about different emergencies and their appropriate responses.

The ads are also available to state and local governments who are interested in creating localized versions that direct viewers to emergency preparedness resources in their community.  In addition to these new Ready advertisements for individuals and families, the campaign also includes Ready Business advertisements directed toward owners and managers of small and medium-sized business and Listo advertisements for Spanish speakers.  All of the campaign’s advertisements are PSAs, meaning they run in donated media space only.  Thus far the Ready Campaign has received more than $593 million worth of air-time and advertising space donated by media companies across the nation. 

For more information on emergency preparedness and to view the new PSAs visit  State and local government officials interested in localizing the ads or others who would like more information can email us at  To read the press release, click here

Click here for other preparedness resources so that you can begin to get you and your family better prepared today. 

Ground Zero Update
The effort continues at Ground Zero to locate human remains from WTC victims, and to identify those that have been found.  In mid-October, human remains that appeared to be from World Trade Center victims were excavated by a Consolidated Edison crew from a manhole at the northern edge of the Ground Zero site.  The Medical Examiner’s Office, NYPD, and the FDNY have been on site working with Con Ed, Verizon and the Port Authority. They have identified additional locations that need to be searched and have already begun to remove material to an area where the Medical Examiner’s staff will carefully sift through all of it.

Yesterday, the Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit made public a memorandum from Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler to Mayor Bloomberg in regard to the search for human remains at the World Trade Center Site.  To read this memo, click here

In response to FOS11 member concerns about both the recent discovery of remains at Ground Zero and the news about newly identified victims from American Airlines Flight 11, we have been in contact with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and want to share information we learned from them with you. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s explained that there are no new protocols for the recovery of remains.  Family members do not have to resubmit DNA and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will continue to be the initial point of contact for families.  If you have any questions, please contact the OCME’s WTC Unit at (212) 447-7884. 
FOS11 understands that this news will continue to be unsettling for family members and is in constant contact with the Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit (CAU).  Please contact us directly at if we can be of assistance.  Families can also reach CAU directly by contacting Ada Rehnberg-Campos at 212-788-7410 or 212-788-7754 (fax). 

9/11 Grief Study - Reminder to Participate in Phase II
The Trauma Center at the New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia University and the National Center for PTSD at the Department of Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, in association with Boston University School of Medicine are conducting the second wave of a research study to examine how people who lost loved ones, close friends, and colleagues as a result of the terrorist attacks on 9-11-01 are doing. The aim of this study is to develop ideas about how best to help people who are having trouble with grief and assess the mental health needs of survivors. In addition, they also study how people cope with such extraordinary tragedy.
Those who participated in Phase I of the 9/11 Grief Survey, should now complete Phase II of the study.  Wherever you are in the grief process, please take half an hour to complete Phase II of the survey.  For those who haven’t participated yet in Phase II, but did participate in phase I, please log onto the study website at  If you don’t remember your password and PIN code you can request them online.
If you have questions regarding the study please address them to the Principal Investigator, Dr. Yuval Neria from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons and the New York State Psychiatric Institute at  For help with your password or PIN code you may also contact Scott Noonan at

Upcoming Events

FOS11 Calendar
Go to the FOS11 calendar for more events.
FOS11 Chat Program Online Community Support Group
Tuesday, December 5th, 8pm-9pm EDT
To support the StoryCorps initiative, FOS11 will dedicate the next chat to the topic of "Telling Your Story".  Whether you decide to participate in the StoryCorps project, or find other ways to tell your story, we know this is an important part of the healing process, and offer this opportunity to share experiences with each other.  The chat will be held on Tuesday, December 5th from 8-9pm EST.
Click here to Enroll Now:
This online chat session will provide 9/11 victims' families, survivors, first responders, and others affected by the attacks at the Pentagon, the World Trade Center, and Shanksville the opportunity to discuss issues and topics of importance in a safe, supportive environment. As a reminder, all participants must be FOS11 members (please see below on how to register as a member - membership is free). Dr. Donna Gaffney, a licensed mental health professional and noted trauma specialist, will facilitate the chat.

The Brooklyn Museum’s Looking Back from Ground Zero: Images from the Brooklyn Museum Collection
August 30, 2006 – January 7, 2007
The Brooklyn Museum marks the five-year anniversary of September 11, 2001, with an exhibition of works from the permanent collection that includes paintings, photographs, prints, and drawings of the Lower Manhattan area around the World Trade Center site before, as well as after, the attack. For more information, visit the website or call 718-638-5000.

Tribute Center Daily Walking Tours
July 18, 2006 – July 18, 2007
The Tribute Center is a project of the September 11th Widows and Victims' Families' Association.   They offer daily public tours around the perimeter of the World Trade Center site. Led by people who lost loved ones, survivors of the attacks, lower Manhattan residents and workers, rescue workers, police, firefighters, and volunteers who came to help, the tours give an overview of what happened at the site on February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001 and provide an opportunity for visitors to hear their guide’s personal experiences. Tours begins at 120 Liberty Street, in front of the future Tribute Center, and last approximately one hour. Tour reservations can be booked online under “Other Events.” Advanced registration fee is $10.00 per person; children under 12 are admitted free.
Daily Tours
Weekdays 1:00 PM & 3:00 PM EST
Weekends 12:00 PM; 1:00 PM; 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM EST
For more information, email or click here to visit the website.

Columbia University Resilience Enhancement (CURE) Workshop
World Cares Center and Columbia University Resilience Enhancement (CURE) Program
Tuesdays from 1-3pm on Oct. 17, 24, 31, Nov 7, and 14th
Tuesdays from 1-3pm Nov 21, 28, Dec. 5, 12 and 19
Wednesdays from 1-3pm Nov 22, 29, Dec 6, 13, 20

World Cares Center hosts resiliency workshops which are conducted by senior faculty from Columbia University. The core philosophy of this program is that resilience, or “power of recovery,” can be cultivated, practiced, and enhanced in preparation for future major stressful events. The Columbia University Resilience Enhancement (CURE) program combines new research findings with teaching strategies that proved successful in the Columbia Center’s training program for professionals after 9/11. The CURE program has been specially designed for individuals who have been affected by the 9/11 attacks, and for those who work with affected populations.

Sessions will be available throughout the year, and can be scheduled in response to the needs of interested groups. Meetings will take place at September Space Lower Manhattan, 11 Broadway, 11th floor. The program also has the potential to travel to other sites in order to accommodate groups of 6 or more, if visiting the Lower Manhattan space is not feasible.

The CURE program is offered at NO COST through the generous support of a Red Cross 9/11 Recovery Grant. This program is not a treatment for PTSD, depression, or other psychological conditions that resulted from 9/11; however, staff can assist in finding treatment for persons in need of more intensive professional help.

For more information about the program click here, to make a scheduling request, or to enroll, please contact Theresa Frey at 646-289-3098 or by emailing


9/11 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program – Enroll Today
Important Dates:
Enrollment Closes: January 2, 2007 – Coming Soon!
Last Date of Service: December 31, 2007
Last Day to File Claims: March 31, 2008
This program offers financial assistance with the cost of mental health and substance abuse treatment to those directly affected by the attacks, regardless of insurance or immigration status. Financial assistance for treatment is retroactive to September 11, 2001 and will cover dates of service through December 31, 2007. That means if you are eligible and you received treatment after the initial attacks, your out-of-pocket costs may still be covered.  Download Now: Program Postcard, Program brochure, and Program summary.
Those eligible for the 9/11 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program include those who:

  • Lost a family member 
  • Were physically injured 
  • Lived below Canal Street 
  • Worked in the World Trade Center area or the Pentagon – whether or not you were at work that day 
  • Were evacuated from the World Trade Center area or the Pentagon 
  • Attended a school near the World Trade Center or are the parent of a child who attended a school nearby 
  • Were a rescue, recovery, or reconstruction worker assigned to a “restricted site” 
  • Were an emergency dispatcher on 9/11 or worked in the morgues serving the attack sites worked south of Canal Street or at Ronald Reagan Airport, and before January 11, 2002 lost your job or earned less than 70% of your pre-9/11 income 
  • If you are a family member or shared a home with any of the people whose situations are listed here

Visit the website and begin registration online at or call any of the following numbers:

  • 1-800-LIFENET (1-800-543-3638) (English) 
  • 1-877-Ayudese 1-877-298-3373 (Spanish) 
  • 1-877-990-8585 (Asian LifeNet) 
  • 1-212-982-5284 (TTY)

Safer World
Show your concern and learn about how to prevent nuclear terrorism.  Act now for a safer world. NTI and Families of September 11 have joined forces to raise awareness about the threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and materials so citizens can help reduce these threats. The 9/11 Commission recommended an all-out effort to secure weapons of mass destruction, but its final report card gave the U.S. government a "D" for its progress. We want to turn that “D” to an “A ". Click here to learn how you can help.

Health Resources for 9/11 Rescue and Recovery Workers
FOS11 maintains a health section on the website that includes health resources for 9/11 rescue and recovery workers.  This section includes links to a number of articles in the news as well as information about examination and treatment resources available to people who were possibly exposed to toxic material on, or subsequent to 9/11. Indications are that this will continue to be an issue of growing importance for increasing numbers of people. Families of September 11 will continue to monitor developments and post information as we become aware of it.

New York State Workers’ Compensation Registration Form and Instruction for WTC Rescue, Recovery, and Clean-up Personnel
The New York State Workers' Compensation Law has been changed to allow rescue, recovery, and cleanup workers exposed to toxic materials at WTC to preregister, even if not presently sick. Registering now will protect your right to file a workers' compensation claim if you become ill at any time in the future. The law applies to most people who did paid or unpaid rescue, recovery or cleanup work in Lower Manhattan south of Canal or Pike Streets between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 12, 2002. It also applies to rescue, recovery or cleanup workers who worked at the Staten Island landfill, the barge operation between Manhattan and Staten Island or the New York City morgue, and temporary morgues. The only workers who are not covered are those who are not in the workers’ compensation system: NYC uniformed services (firefighters, police, sanitation workers), NYC teachers and federal employees. But those workers are eligible if they performed any rescue, recovery or cleanup work off-duty, as a volunteer. The new law also allows anyone who already filed a claim - but was turned down because the claim was filed too late - to re-file. Click here to download the Claim Form and Instructions.

Children of September 11th
Visit the Children of September 11th website for articles and resources that pertain directly to children and young adults.  Learn about programs and activities available, resources established for children and young adults, and articles that address common issues of children and young adults.

National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement
Families of September 11 has been working with the newly created National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement (NCSCB) to raise awareness of how schools can support students, teachers and parents who are struggling with issues of loss and bereavement.  Click here to visit the newly launched website which offers many helpful resources in this area. 

World Trade Center Survivors' Network
The Survivors' Network seeks to provide a forum for personal contact between survivors as a means to empower them to both deal with the circumstances of the aftermath of the attacks and to find renewed purpose in that aftermath. The Network also functions as a place for people to go and get survivors' perspectives and as a conduit for the common thoughts of survivors. On the organization's homepage, there are links to join two different Yahoo groups: Survivorsnet and the WTC Survivors. All of the files and meeting information for the organization are posted in both groups. Click here for more information. 


Remember. Honor. Hope.
FOS11 offers a wrist band, in hope for a better future. Click here to learn more.

Contact Us


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By Phone

General information: 212-575-1878

Families of September 11 (FOS11) is a 501(c)(3) organization founded by families of those who died in the September 11 terrorist attacks. Membership is open to anyone affected by the events of September 11, 2001. More than 2,400 people worldwide have chosen to join us.

Families of September 11 is an accredited charity and is a member of the Seal Program, which indicates that our organization has met the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. For more information about the Standards, please visit the BBB of Metro New York's website at

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