FOS11 Newsletter, Volume #3, Issue #5April 2004

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


We approach spring with a renewed sense of hope that we can both heal and help make a difference.  We urge you to avail yourselves of the helpful TOOLS section, read contributions from our members and other interested parties and keep updated on news and resource information.

Issues Update

This has been a very busy month for the 9/11Commission.  FOS11 was pleased that the Commission had secured the public testimony of Dr. Condoleezza Rice on April 8.  Dr. Rice’s testimony raised some serious issues which we are hopeful the Commission will continue to pursue. In the days following the hearings, the Administration released the often-cited August 6th Presidential Daily Briefing

This month’s hearings have concluded with the testimony of top-level law enforcement and intelligence officials past and present as well as Attorney Generals Janet Reno and John Ashcroft.  Copies of all the staff statements and witness testimony are available through the Commission’s website at

The full text of the hearing, including all questions and answers, spoken remarks, etc can be viewed at

Lower Manhattan – Updates
WTC Memorial Center selects FOS11 Board Members for Advisory Committee
FOS11 Executive Director Nikki Stern and Board member Tom Roger have both been named to the World Trade Center Memorial Center Advisory Committee.  The committee, consisting of historians, preservationists, curators, victims' family members, residents, survivors, and first responders, is charged with making recommendations as to how the Center can be used to best to help tell future generations the individual and collective stories of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001.  A press release about the committee can be found at

Personal Property Update
The Property Clerk Division has been working to return all property recovered in the aftermath of 9/11. To date, 68% of all property recovered has been returned.  In an effort to return jewelry items recovered, the Department is establishing a web site, accessible via password, to be utilized by the families of victims and survivors to assist in returning jewelry items.  There are approximately 1000 pieces of jewelry recovered and stored at the Property Clerk Division.  This project requires Mayoral approval and is anticipated to be operating by the summer.  A beginning and completion date for this endeavor will be promulgated in the City Administrative Act (CAPA).  FOS11 will provide further information as we receive it. 

Listing of Names on the Memorial at Ground Zero
Tom Roger continues to work with other family representatives to try and formulate an alternative proposal to the LMDC and the designer for the listing of the names on the Memorial at Ground Zero, based on your recent feedback. We hope to have a revised proposal shortly 

This month brings forth signs of nature’s renewal and the promise of warmer weather and spring flowers.  As the season changes, we ask you to consider the healing power of the outdoors, encouraging you to engage in exercise and explore hiking opportunities in your community.  Click here to review this month’s TOOL: Walking, Wilderness and Waking Through Exercise. 

A Poem for the Families
Merv Webster, a poet from Australia, submitted the following poem to FOS11 and asked that we share it with our membership.  In his email he wrote, “The event of September 11 moved many people in Australia and sadly, our children also saw the effect of terrorism and how it hurt so many.”  Click here to read Merv’s poem.    

Upcoming Events

Families of September 11 Wilderness Hike – We hope to see you on our 3rd hike!
All members are invited to join Families of September 11 as we venture outdoors with the North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center to Harriman State Park in Sloatsburg, New York.  Our upcoming hike takes place next Sunday, April 25th, from 9:00am to 5:00pm.  Over 15 family members have registered for the hike so far!  Click here to learn more about the trip or contact Paige Panzner, our program director, by email at or by phone at 212-575-1878.

Sending Letters of Support to Families in Madrid after 3/11
FOS11 thanks all family members who have written letters of support and sent photos to support families in Madrid affected by the terrorist attack of 3/11.  The letters, images and general outpouring of sympathy from our families were, by all indications, greatly appreciated by those in Madrid.  If you are interested in writing a letter of support, please write it in the body of an email, include any photos you would like shared as attachments, and email to  It is recommended that you write the letter to a family member who may identify with your experience.  For example, if you lost a sibling on 9/11, you would write your letter to a family member in Spain who also lost a sibling.  You can write the letter in English, as translators in Spain are prepared to translate all documents.

Family Hike in Massachusetts on April 23rd
All families are invited to join VOCAL AFAR, Friday, Apr 23, 2004, from 9:00AM - 2:00PM, for a day of fun climbing the ropes and challenging elements in the trees! To reserve a space or to ask questions about this event, please contact Amy Beaulieu or Mental Health Association of Greater Lowell at 978-458-6282.

Comfort Zone Camp – Openings Remain for the April 23rd-25th Weekend
Comfort Zone Camp has organized another 911 camp weekend (for children who lost parents/primary caregivers in the World Trade Center or Pentagon attacks) for April 23 -25th.   There are still spaces available.  Comfort Zone Camp offers bereavement camps, at no charge, to children between the ages 7 -17 from around the country who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling, or significant loved one.  They are the largest bereavement camp program in the nation and have hosted children from across the country at their Richmond-based camps.  For more information, please contact Christine Lee at 804-377-3420 or check out the camp’s website at:

Art For Heart First Sundays – Children’s Event on May 1st in New York City
On Saturday, May 1st, from 10:00AM - 4:00PM, 9/11families and children are invited to participate in a program sponsored by the 92nd Street Y.  This program, Art For Heart, provides arts enrichment/therapy for children of the victims of September 11th.  Art For Heart was developed to offer children who lost someone on September 11th an opportunity to express their emotions surrounding the events of the day and the aftermath through art and to facilitate emotional healing. Art For Heart First Sundays will be also be offered June 6. The hours are from 10:00AM - 4:00PM at the 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY. Families are welcome to drop by at any time during the hours and days listed; an RSVP is appreciated. Please call Holly Pericoli at (212) 415-5749 for additional information.

Essay Contest for High School, College and Graduate Students in the USA & Canada
The Barcelona Forum 2004 US is pleased to announce the "Let Your Voice Be Heard" essay contest. All high school, college and graduate students in the United States and Canada area encouraged to write an essay on one of five different themes. There will be three first place prizes consisting of round trip airfare to Barcelona, Spain with seven night accommodations and a three-day pass to the first Barcelona Forum. Ninety-seven runner-up winners will be awarded prizes consisting of one copy each of You Can Change the World by Ervin Laszlo, and How to Use What You've Got to Get What You Want, by Marilyn Tam.
The Barcelona Forum is the largest cultural event in the history of the world, an unprecedented gathering of people from all societies. For more information on the "Let Your Voice Be Heard" essay contest please visit,  or call David Rippe at 513-618-6449.

Volunteers Needed
The Project America Foundation needs volunteer assistance with fundraising, grant writing, and creative writers to help develop their newsletter.  There will be a special showing in New York in September 2004 of the “Heart of America” quilt project.  Many volunteers are needed to help make the event to happen.  If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please contact Susan Morrisette directly at

Support Needed
Councilman Lanza is coordinating a project with the Walter Reed Hospital in Washington for the American soldiers who were permanently injured in Iraq.  The average age of soldiers in the hospital is 18-20 years old.  Councilman Lanza’s office would like to send basic toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, after shave, lotion, etc.), music (CDs), and clothing to the injured soldiers.  Cards and letters of support are also welcome.  If you would like to help with this effort, please contact Loretta Quinn at 718-984-5151, Monday through Friday from 9:00am-2:30pm.


Tips Regarding the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund
Although the filing deadline for the September 11th VCF has past, many are still in the process of completing their applications.  If you are in this process and would like to review important tips and information about the VCF, the National Center for Victims of Crime has created a Web cast of the Critical Choices Forum that can be viewed online at any time.  To learn more about this resource, please visit  If you have any questions about the Web cast, please contact Jen Baldassari by phone at 202-467-8700 or by email at

Important Advisory from the FDA on Depression
The Food and Drug Administration recently issued a Public Health Advisory that provides further cautions to physicians, their patients, and families and caregivers of patients about the need to closely monitor both adults and children with depression, especially at the beginning of treatment, or when the doses of anti-depressants are changed with either an increase or decrease in the dose.  To review the advisory report, please visit the following link,

Song and Free CD for 9/11 Families
Hank Fellows, a New York City songwriter, has written sheet music and produced a CD for 9/11 families that he would like to distribute to any family member who would like a free copy.  His song, “Halfway to Heaven” was played at 9/11 ceremonies and events, including a September 11th commemoration event at the Bronx County Building.  If you are interested in obtaining a free copy of his sheet music and CD, please contact him directly at 212-764-1073 or by email at  Hank’s music revues have been presented at Lincoln Center and leading New York City cabarets.

Family Member Photo Albums
Kristine Schueler is a bookbinder and photo preservationist who helps people put photo albums together.  She is interested in offering her services to any family who has lost a loved one(s) in the terrorist attack on September 11th put an album together of their family member.  If you are interested in learning more about her work and services, please contact her by email at or by phone at 212-860-3090.

Graduate Student solicits 9/11 Family Input for Thesis
Kerry Pearson, a graduate student at Kean University in Union, New Jersey, is writing a thesis on the relationship between varied coping styles and their effect on life adjustment. She also works as an information and referral specialist for Project Phoenix Helpline, a 9/11 information and referral helpline through the Mental Health Association in New Jersey.  She would be grateful if any families would participate in a confidential study (by answering two questionnaires that would take all of 10 minutes to complete).  All families can receive a final copy of her paper, by email, when the document is complete. For further participation information or questions, please call (201) 463-8591 or email her at

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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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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