FOS11 Newsletter, Volume #5, Issue #4April 21, 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 www.foractioninitiative.org.

Welcome

On April 25th, the Tribeca Film Festival will open with the film United 93, written and directed by Paul Greengrass. It is scheduled to open nationwide in theaters on April 28th. Many family members of those who were killed on United flight 93 have seen exclusive viewings of the film and were able to provide feedback to the director. The original trailer had been in theaters for several weeks when AMC Theaters replaced it due to public criticism to the violence. The revised trailer is still being played in theaters across the country, and print and television ads will be shown nation-wide.

The decision to view the movie may be difficult for family members. We encourage you to talk with loved ones before viewing the movie and to consider ways to help prepare yourself for the types of reactions you may experience. To help get started with this, Stephanie T. Norris, a FOS11 Advisory Board Member offers a two-page article about reactions and impacts of images and symbols of September 11, 2001. She provides information on types of reactions that may occur, and strategies for working with youth. To view this article visit the FOS11 website and scroll down to see the article. 

In addition, the article Preparing for Movies About 9/11: A Parent’s Guide from the New York University Child Study Center offers tips for talking to children about the media and helping children cope.  Click here for the article.

We also remind you that counseling resources are still available for those directly affected by the attacks, regardless of insurance or immigration status, through the 9/11 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program (see below).

FOS11 will also be hosting an online chat on Thursday, April 27th from 8pm-9pm EST, to discuss reactions to the release of the movie (see below).

Issues Update

Moussaoui Trial Update
On Monday, April 2nd, Zacarias Moussaoui was found eligible for the death penalty by a jury in Alexandria, VA. That meant that his trial moved to the second stage, to determine if he should get a sentence of life in prison, or be given the death penalty. Moussaoui pleaded guilty to 6 terrorism charges last year, so the jury is only deciding his punishment, not his guilt.

Victim impact statements began on April 6th, and ended last week with the playing of the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) from United flight 93. The week of testimony provided details about the horrors experienced by victims and survivors on 9/11, and the pain and suffering their families continue to experience today. In a related ruling, the judge has decided that the CVR tape from UA93 will not be released to the public. Only the transcript will be available for the public to read – no one will be allowed to hear it. This ruling was in response to three UA93 family members who were concerned with privacy. 

The defense closed their case on Thursday, April 20th and closing arguments will be given Monday, April 24th.  the jury will then deliberate and provide their verdict to the judge. After their decision is given, the judge will sentence Moussaoui, and the trial will be over, save any appeals. Families of September 11 will continue to keep you informed of the trial.

World Trade Center Movie
Oliver Stone’s movie World Trade Center is scheduled to be released on August 9th.  Trailers for the movie will begin in May and are scheduled to be shown before the movie “Da Vinci Code” (though each movie theater has the final say).  Print and television ads will come later in the summer.  FOS11 has been in contact with the film production team and as we learn more details about the movie, potential private screenings, and its advertising plan, we will be sure to update our members.

Submit Writing for the FOS11 Newsletter
As we move toward the 5th commemoration of September 11th, FOS11 would like to include your short articles, poems, narratives, journal entries, etc. in our newsletters.  We would like to hear your expressions of resiliency and ways that people have decided to rebuild their lives in the wake of the September 11th tragedies.  To make a submission, email rhansen@familiesofseptember11.org.  Please keep submissions to 500 words or less.

Peter M. Goodrich Memorial Foundation’s first Afghan School now Open
The Surk Abadh Middle School for girls opened on March 20, 2006 in Logar, Afghanistan.  This is the first Afghan school built by the Peter M. Goodrich Memorial Foundation, which was created by Sally and Don Goodrich, FOS11 Chairman of the Board, after the death of their son Peter M. Goodrich on September 11, 2001.

Ground Zero Update
At the end of March, New York City released transcripts and nearly nine hours of audio recordings of Emergency 911 calls from the Towers on September 11, 2001.  They were released after the New York Times and relatives of September 11th victims sued to gain access to them.

Additionally, during the first weekend of April, remains were discovered at the Deutsche Bank.  The Deutsche Bank building suffered extensive damage when the Twin Towers collapsed and is undergoing demolition floor by floor.  The remains are undergoing DNA testing by the Medical Examiner’s Office.  The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) released a letter explaining the specific protocol in place to identify remains.  The protocol was established by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for workers at the Deutsche Bank.  To read the letter from LMDC click here

FOS11 will continue to provide updates on these and other issues related to Ground Zero.

Upcoming Events

Online Chat Program
April 27, 2006, 8-9pm EST
The next FOS11 Online Chat is scheduled for Thursday, April 27, 2006 from 8-9pm EST.  The topic is Reactions to the Release of the Film United 93. To enroll in the next chat, click on http://www.familiesofseptember11.org/chat2/membership_form.asp?chatID=42706  and follow the steps. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at (212) 575-1878 or chathelp@familiesofseptember11.org.  

The online chat program brings members of the 9/11 community from different geographic locations together to connect and share common experiences. To date, we have had participants from all over the country including California, Hawaii, New York, Massachusetts, Florida, Alaska, and other states. Regardless of the distance between members, many of the issues and concerns are similar. This makes for a very friendly and kind environment, where members provide insight and support to each other helping to break the sense of isolation some members may feel. We welcome new participants to the program. 

Dr. Donna Gaffney, a licensed mental health professional and noted trauma specialist, facilitates the chats. Chat conversations tend to include the topic as well as other issues that members are experiencing at the time. Several chat participants have shared their appreciation of the chat program and many return to participate in later chats. To learn more about the chat program visit the FOS11 website

9/11 Grief Survey, Phase II
The Center for the Study of Trauma and Resilience at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University is conducting Phase II of the 9/11 Grief Survey among people who participated in Phase I. FOS11 Board members MaryEllen Salamone and Don Goodrich helped to pilot and review the survey in its initial phase. The survey is aimed at understanding all possible psychological responses to traumatic loss. In order to understand the full scope of the responses to 9/11 experience and to develop treatments to help individuals who suffer from traumatic grief, it is helpful to have as many individuals to participate as possible.

Those who have received an invitation to participate and have not done so already are requested to log onto the study website at www.9-11survey.org in order to complete Phase II of the study. If you have questions regarding the study please address them to the Principal Investigator Dr. Yuval Neria from Columbia University at ny126@columbia.edu. For help with your password or PIN code you may contact Scott Noonan at scott@smartwebs.com.

Support Groups for Those who are Grieving and Healing
The Health Care Chaplaincy offers free support groups in their offices located at 307 East 60th Street in New York City. The groups have a maximum registration of eight and are designed to help those who have been separated from relatives or friends by death. There is still an opportunity to join a General Bereavement group or a Grieving the Loss of a Sibling group. For dates and to learn more click here.

Columbia University Resilience Enhancement (CURE) Workshops
World Cares Center will host a new workshop program, developed and conducted by senior faculty from Columbia University. The core philosophy of this workshop 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 synthesizes 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. 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. To learn more about workshops and dates click here

Go to the FOS11 calendar for more events.

Resources

New Addition to the FOS11 Website - Health Issues for 9/11 Rescue and Recovery Workers
We have received a number of requests for information about resources available to people who participated in the rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center during the weeks and months after 9/11. As more reports of illnesses in this population surface, it is becoming apparent that there is a need for timely and accurate information about examination and treatment resources available to people who were possibly exposed to toxic material. We will be monitoring these developments and reporting on them in the Health Issues Section of the Support Resources area of the FOS11 website.

The Massachusetts 9/11 Fund
The Massachusetts 9/11 Fund, Inc. is a nonprofit organization providing efficient and compassionate assistance and relief to residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts who were directly impacted by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It provides information and referral to counseling services, an adolescent wellness program for bereaved children, and a widow and widowers group. Visit their website at http://www.massfund.org, or email info@massfund.org or call 866-FUND-911.

FOS11 Children of September 11 Newsletter
Children of September 11, an affiliate of FOS11, recently published the Spring Issue Newsletter. This issue focuses on making transitions from high school to college, and also provides useful information on summer camps and scholarships for children who lost a loved one on 9/11. You can download this issue at our website

Also, visit the Children of September 11 webpage at http://www.childrenofseptember11.org/

The 9/11 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Program
This program provides financial assistance for the cost of mental health and substance abuse treatment. Created by the September 11th Fund and the American Red Cross and now managed by the Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA), 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. Coverage is retroactive to 9/11/01.  Visit the website and begin registration online at http://www.9-11mentalhealth.org/ 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)
 

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.



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