FOS11 Newsletter, Volume #3, Issue #1December 2003

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 www.foractioninitiative.org.

Welcome

The holiday season can be a difficult time under the best of circumstances and we know it is especially trying for our families.  We at FOS11 take courage from your resiliency and remain committed to you, your needs and your process.  We look forward to your further participation and wish you all strength and peace in the coming year.

Issues Update

VCF Deadline
If you or any family members you know have not filed for the Federal Victims Compensation Fund (VCF) and wish to do so, the deadline is only FOUR DAYS AWAY. Please note that ALL you have to do AT THIS TIME is file a name and address. You can get assistance in doing this by contacting the VCF directly at 1-888-714-3385 and by calling the sources listed below.


There will be no extension.  The deadline for filing claims is December 22, 2003.  All remaining families must act now to preserve their rights.


Families of September 11 cannot offer legal advice.  We urge you, however, to contact an attorney to advise you about the best way and when to pursue your legal remedies.  We have listed below a number of legal services that have been provided by the US Attorney General's office.  Please do not hesitate to contact our office at (212) 575-1878 if you have any additional questions.


Trial Lawyers Care
80 Centre Street, Suite 290
New York, New York 10013
(917) 464-0105
(English and Spanish)
http://www.911LawHelp.org


The City Bar Fund
September 11th Legal Relief Initiative
(212) 382-4763


Covington & Burling
1330 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10019
(212) 887-2626


September 11th Pro Bono Legal Relief Project
2300 N. Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C.  20037
(202) 663-9115
http://www.shawpittman.com


After you submit your claim, your VCF case manager will conduct an initial review.  The case manager will then send you an initial contact letter listing any missing items that will be needed to complete the processing of your claim.  You will have 30 days from the date of the contact letter to get the needed items back to the VCF.  However, if you file your claim on December 22nd you must send needed items to the VCF by January 22, 2004.

The National Center for Victims of Crime reminds families that the web cast of “Critical Choices: The Federal Victim Compensation Fund or Civil Lawsuits” is still posted at http://www.ncvc.org/9-11/webcast.htm.  Please call 1-800-FYI-CALL or email gethelp@ncvc.org for more information.


9/11Commission/Legislative Update
Families of September 11 (FOS11) welcomes the appointment of Senator Bob Kerrey to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the “9/11 Commission”).   Families who lost loved ones on September 11th look forward to working with Senator Kerrey in his new position as he works with the other commission members to aggressively seek out the truth about 9/11. FOS11 urges the Commission to follow the facts wherever they may lead with complete transparency in order to answer the many unresolved questions about 9/11. We are hopeful that this appointment to the Commission will serve to re-invigorate and re-focus the Commission on their task of investigating how intelligence and defense failures led to the murder of our loved ones on 9/11.  Since the Commission's deadline is rapidly approaching, we hope that Senator Kerrey will be expeditiously brought up to speed with the work of the Commission thus far. Time is of the essence as the nation waits to find out how and why the inconceivable was allowed to happen.

Senator Kerrey replaces Senator Max Cleland, who has been appointed to the Import-Export Bank and thus is precluded from holding both posts.  FOS11 thanks Senator Cleland for his year of dedicated service on the Commission, and for his aggressive pursuit of the events surrounding the terrorist attacks of September 11th.


Mazoudi Trial Update
The Mzoudi terrorist trial before the Hamburg State Supreme Court has come to an end with some unexpected, surprising developments.  As in the Mottassadeq trial, co-plaintiff 9/11 families were again allowed to make closing statements to the Court.  Four co-plaintiff family members appeared in Court and several submitted written statements. The families’ pro bono attorneys Ulrich von Jeinsen and Andreas Schulz organized a press conference following their statements. The Director of the German CIA had testified recently that the planning and the decisions for the 9/11 terrorist attacks took place in Afghanistan and not in Hamburg. His testimony was corroborated by a letter from the German FBI.


Although no names were mentioned, it is assumed that those statements are the result of the interrogations of Ramzi Binaksgibh, one the leaders of the 9/11 conspiracy, who is in US custody. Upon this information the Court decided to release Mzoudi from custody, denying a motion for reconsideration by the German Federal Prosecutors. This ruling is now being appealed.

 

Meanwhile, the Court denied a motion by the attorneys of Mottassadeq for his release from jail.  The 15 year conviction is on appeal before the German Federal Appeals Court.  Mazoudi's attorneys have filed an application for asylum.  In opposition, Andreas Schulz filed a motion on behalf of the co-plaintiffs with the Hamburg Immigration Services to take Mazoudi in custody, since his residence permit expired last June, and have him deported to his homeland, Morocco, where he could be re-arrested or even deported to the United States.

On December 12, 2003, the Court in Hamburg released Mazoudi, planning to declare a "not guilty" verdict on December 23rd.   After refusing to share with the Court (in both trials) the information obtained from Ramsi Binalshibh which the German FBI received from the US, the German FBI reversed its course and provided the German Court information from the Binalshibh file attesting that Mazoudi was not a member of the four-terrorist inner circle and could not have had any knowledge about their ultimate plans.  Under the requirements of German law, which are more formal than those of the US legal system, the complaint could not be sustained any longer.  Mazoudi was set free.  It is expected that under these circumstances the Mottassadeq conviction will be overturned, and he will be set free as well. 

Upcoming Events

WTC Site Open to 9/11 Families/Family Rooms are also Open
The NY/NJ Port Authority invites families to visit the WTC site (at Gate 7, Liberty and Washington Streets) on the following Sundays: December 21, 28, and January 4, anytime between 11:00AM-3:00PM.  To ensure access to the designated sites, please bring your loved one’s P, T or RM #.  A Christmas tree and a menorah will be placed at Gate 7 and families can leave mementos.  There are two family rooms available only for family members.  One is beyond Gate 7 and the other is on the 20th floor at One Liberty Plaza.  Both are open from 9:00AM to 9:00PM daily.


Memorial Park
Families are invited to visit Memorial Park, the site which houses the remains of those lost in the attacks.  The park is not open to the general public.  To schedule a visit (the park is located at 30th Street and 5th Avenue), please call 212-447-7884.


Finalist Designs on Display for the 9/11 Memorial Competition
The eight finalists for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation’s 9/11 and 1993 memorial competition are on exhibit at the World Financial Center’s Winter Garden from 10:00AM to 10:00PM daily.  For more information about the memorial competition, please contact Anthoula by phone at 212-587-9646 or by email at http://www.akatsimatides@renewnyc.com. A decision on the final design has been postponed until January, as the finalists have been asked by the jury to revise their designs.

Resources

Mayo Clinic Article
The Mayo Clinic (a foundation for Medical Education and Research) has created an article on coping with grief and loss during the holidays.  This helpful document addresses the different responses people have to the holidays after experiencing the loss of a loved one.  The article offers guidance, looking specifically at the second season approaching and provides insight on how to feel “okay” about expressing your grief.  If you would like to read a copy of the article, please visit http://www.mayoclinic.com and do a search on the site for “Grief and the Holidays: Coping on your own terms.”


NIST Report on the WTC Investigation
Researchers from NIST who are investigating the collapse of the WTC buildings have obtained access to all of the essential information needed for their two-year federal study of the disaster.  The hope is that the outcome will lead to improvements in the way people design, construct, maintain and use buildings.  For more information and details about the investigation please visit http://wtc.nist.gov


GOALS Program for 9/11 Families in New Jersey
Going On After Loss (GOALS) is a project created in response to the needs of New Jersey families that experienced the loss of a spouse/parent on September 11th.  Designed and organized by mental health professionals with expertise in trauma, the program provides information on enhancing personal and family strengths and resilience, facilitates the learning and practicing of coping strategies, and encourages the development of strong support systems.  To learn more about GOALS, please contact Michele Madiou by phone at 609-208-0652 ext. 24, or Kevin Duffy at 973-777-7958.   

 
Healing Retreats for 9/11Families
Eva Usadi, MA, BCD, and her colleagues (renowned trauma and grief specialists, both nationally and internationally) have developed Healing/Resiliency Seminars for family members and survivors.  Their goal is to assist families in their return to optimal functioning – without some of the symptoms they may be continuing to experience (intrusive thoughts, nightmares and sleeping difficulties, irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating and remembering, physical complaints and accidents and tension at home.)  If you are interested in learning more about the seminars, please contact Eva Usadi at 212-532-6574 or email her at http://www.eju2001@nyu.edu


9/11 Memorial Quilts
The creators of “America’s 9/11 Memorial Quilts” are presently designing the section that includes family members from Cantor, Marsh, Fred Alger and the NY State Department of Taxation.  Family members are encouraged to submit a photo of their loved one if they would like to see the person represented in the quilt.  Please visit the organizations web page at http://www.911memorialquilts.com or contact Jeannie Ammermann, the president, by email at http://www.quiltmaker@comcast.net


Remember Me Rose Gardens
"Remember Me” is a nonprofit organization committed to creating living tributes (rose gardens) to honor all victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  A "Remember Me" rose garden will be created on or near each of the three sites to honor all those lost on September 11th. The garden will provide a beautiful sanctuary where families and friends of all who died in this tragedy.  Also it will offer a place for all of those affected by the events to seek comfort and peace and release the pain felt for those who lost their lives that day.  To learn more about Remember Me, please visit the organization’s website at http://www.remember-me-rose.org


Holiday Donations for Service People Stationed Overseas
The American Recreational Military Service organization has organized a program to provide families who will be without a parent this season (because the parent is stationed overseas) with donations and goods.  If you would like to learn more about this program and/or make a donation, please contact Ronnie Micciulla by phone at 718-981-5497 by email at http://usslibertyhouse@aol.com

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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info@familiesofseptember11.org

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 http://www.newyork.bbb.org/.

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