Thursday, September 24, 2009

9/11 Families to March on City Hall as City Seeks to Stop Fresh Probe of Attacks From Going on November Ballot

/PRNewswir/ -- On Sunday, September 27 at 2 p.m., The New York City Coalition for Accountability Now (NYC CAN), a group comprising 9/11 family members, first responders and survivors, will march from Battery Park to City Hall in protest of the City's attempt to block the referendum for a fresh probe of the 9/11 attacks from going on the November ballot.

The effort to establish a local commission to pick up where the 9/11 Commission left off comes just as the 9/11 Commission's Chief Counsel John Farmer released a book entitled "The Ground Truth" in which he claims "at some level of government, at some point in time. . . there was an agreement not to tell the truth about what happened."

Eighty-thousand New Yorkers have signed the petition as it has won the endorsement of 2002 TIME magazine person of the year, and former FBI agent, Coleen Rowley, as well as outspoken 9/11 victims' family members including Bill Doyle, who lost his son Joey, and Lorie Van Auken, who lost her husband Richard. Van Auken is one of the esteemed 'Jersey Girls' who successfully lobbied the federal government to set up the 9/11 Commission only to have 70% of her group's questions to the Commission go unanswered.

Speakers for the Battery Park rally include 9/11 family members Bob McIlvaine and Manny Badillo, New York University's Professor of Media Studies, Mark Crispin Miller, and actor Daniel Sunjata of the Emmy-winning Fox Television series "Rescue Me" which depicts post-9/11 life in a FDNY firehouse. After a half-hour speakers' program, 9/11 family members and first responders will lead thousands of supporters in a march past Ground Zero, The City Clerk's Office and The State Supreme Court, all the way to the steps of City Hall.

This week NYC CAN submitted a memorandum of law in response to the City's challenge of the petition's legality. The Court-appointed referee is scheduled to submit his report and recommendations to the Court on Monday, September 28. The Court will decide whether or not to adopt the referee's recommendations and then issue a decision, after which appeals will likely follow immediately. "The arguments are strong on both sides, so the judges will have some thinking and analyzing to do," said Dennis McMahon, the Petitioners' attorney. "No other case pending in the New York courts has a higher priority on the calendars than this one, so we should have a definitive answer by next week."

If the Court decides in NYC CAN's favor and 15,000 of the 28,000 additional signatures submitted on September 4 are deemed valid by the City Clerk, the referendum will go on this November's ballot. If the referendum passes, it would lead to the creation of a local, independent commission with subpoena power that would be tasked with comprehensively reinvestigating the attacks. For more info:

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Boehner Statement on the Eighth Anniversary of the September 11th Terrorist Attacks

“The terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 were not just a brutal and deadly assault on innocent Americans; they were an attack on what the United States means to the world. They were an attack on the very idea that “all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable right, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

“We must always remember what we all lost that day. But we must also celebrate the patriots, living and dead, who have continued to show us the best of this country. We must remember the firefighters, police and other first responders who rushed into the burning towers and Pentagon in the hope that they might help others live. We must honor the memory of the brave passengers and crew of flight 93, who began – that very day – to fight back against our enemies. We must salute the brave men and women who have since carried that fight to Afghanistan and Iraq, and continue to battle our enemies around the world. Most of all, we must join with every American in the fierce and solemn promise: never again.”

“The 9/11 resolution passed by Congress earlier this week says we must take whatever actions are appropriate to defend the people of the United States and to identify, intercept, and defeat terrorists. In the weeks and months ahead, this House will consider many questions related to this ongoing War on Terror. I pray we make the right choices, because our liberty and that of future generations is hanging in the balance. If we fail, more Americans will die, and worse, we may see the light of freedom fade from the rest of the world.”

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Arts Across Georgia

Reading Is Fundamental Honors 9/11 -- National Day of Service and Remembrance and Commemorates United We Serve

/PRNewswire/ -- Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is taking part in the first official Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11, a day established by President Obama and Congress to honor the victims and heroes of 9/11 through acts of community service.

In honor of September 11, RIF will sign a partnership agreement with the National Indian Education Association (NIEA) at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. This new partnership will help improve literacy resources for American Indian children and families nationally. With RIF programs across the country, the event will kick off with a special synchronous read-aloud for 11 minutes of the children's book 14 Cows for America -- the moving story of the generosity of one village in response to the 9/11 attacks on America.

"The tragic events of September 11, 2001, inspired Americans to action and unified us as a nation," said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of RIF. "The memory of September 11 continues to inspire us to serve our neighbors, our communities, and our country. We are pleased to join this national effort and thank the President for making this call to service."

On this historic and symbolic day, RIF will also culminate its Read For Change campaign in support of United We Serve, President Obama's call to service. This summer, RIF teamed up with Verizon Foundation's Thinkfinity and Broadway star Fantasia Barrino to challenge Americans across the country to collectively log 3 million minutes of reading with children by September 11, 2009. Today, we reached and surpassed the goal, logging over 3,051,000 minutes of reading with children at home and in their communities.

In addition to the Read For Change campaign, RIF hosted a series of community-focused children's literacy events in partnership with national and local organizations:

-- "Ice Cream Social" -- a literacy celebration hosted by the
Shoshone-Bannock Early Childhood RIF program at the Fort Hall Indian
Reservation in Idaho, which included special guest readers from the
office of Senator Jim Risch.
-- "United We Read" -- a week-long literacy celebration in partnership
with the National PTA and Communities In Schools-New Orleans. In six
New Orleans schools, 2,500 children received free books and
resource-filled backpacks. Also joining this unique project were
actor/comedian Harry Shearer, New Orleans Hornets broadcaster Gil
McGregor and award-winning children's book author Whitney Stewart.
-- Kentucky Literacy celebrations -- held in Irvine, Paris, and
Georgetown, Ky., in partnership with the office of Congressman Ben
Chandler, to honor 6,257 local RIF volunteers in Kentucky who annually
distribute more than 320,000 books to nearly 85,000 children each
-- "Share the Message: READ!" -- a family literacy event at the Coronita
Elementary School in Corona, Calif., sponsored by Pitney Bowes.
-- Nationwide Book Distribution -- RIF, Reach Out and Read, and Pioneers
each matched funding from First Book to double the number of books
reaching community programs serving at-risk children delivering 98,000
books in local literacy programs nationwide.

"One of the best ways to honor the heroes and victims of 9/11 is by reaching out in service to others," said Rasco. "Through our many efforts in support of United We Serve and our new partnership with NIEA to strengthen American Indian communities, we hope our efforts will inspire more Americans to make an ongoing commitment to serving our nation's children."

RIF invites all Americans to discover the impact of RIF in their community, experience local success stories, and explore local RIF volunteer opportunities at

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

9-11 Impact Continues

Governor Orders Flags to Half-Staff in Remembrance of September 11th

Governor Sonny Perdue today ordered flags at all state buildings and grounds to fly at half-staff tomorrow until sunset in remembrance of the victims of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

“The eighth anniversary of the attacks against America remind us of a time when our nation came together in the face of tragedy,” Governor Perdue said. “An attack meant to weaken us only served to make us stronger. The courage shown by Americans, from ground zero to every corner of our country, continues to inspire us as we vow to never forget those that lost their lives on that day.”

The following is text of the Executive Order.

Flags on State Buildings and Grounds
Ordered Lowered to Half Staff

Whereas: Eight years ago, on a beautiful September morning, the citizens of our great nation were carrying on with their daily routines not knowing of the terror that would soon grip our country; and

Whereas: Time virtually stood still as we watched in horror as planes flew into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania; and

Whereas: As the towers crashed to the ground, we truly became “One Nation, Under God”, as we prayed not only for those who perished, but also for the families, friends, and loved ones of those who were taken from us that day; and

Whereas: It is imperative that we continue to remember in our thoughts and prayers the men and women of our armed forces who unselfishly serve our country in an effort to protect the United States of America and its citizens from future attacks; and

Whereas: To honor the memories of those who lost their lives and to memorialize this day in our nation’s history, the United States Congress on December 18, 2001, passed by joint resolution Public Law 107-89 (36 U.S.C. § 144), which designates September 11 of each year as “Patriot Day."

Now, therefore, pursuant to the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Georgia, it is hereby

Ordered: That on September 11, 2009, the American Flag and the Flag of the Great State of Georgia shall be flown on all state buildings and grounds, throughout the State of Georgia, at half-staff until sunset.

It is further

Ordered: All Georgians are called upon to display the American Flag at half-staff from their homes and businesses on that day and to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. eastern daylight time to honor the innocent Americans and people from around the world who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

This 10th day of September, 2009.

Governor Sonny Perdue

National Museum of the Marine Corps Commemorates 9/11

National Museum of the Marine Corps’ Commemoration of 9/11
Friday, September 11, 2009
9:30 a.m.

National Museum of the Marine Corps
18900 Jefferson Davis Highway
Triangle, VA

(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Museum of the Marine Corps will commemorate the eighth anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center by unveiling a new exhibit dedicated to the historic day and the Global War on Terrorism. On September 11, 2009, following a moment of silence at 9:37 a.m. marking the time of the attack on the Pentagon, the Museum will unveil its new exhibit, which includes a Marine Corps flag retrieved from the Pentagon crash site and subsequently flown aboard the shuttle Endeavour’s space mission in December 2001. Other artifacts include a World Trade Center recovery worker uniform; recovery tools and personal artifacts from Ground Zero; damaged structural elements and fragments from the Pentagon; and an analog clock frozen at the time of impact.

Marines from the Museum’s detachment will be on hand with Museum Director Lin Ezell to honor the moment of silence and unveil the exhibit.

Other special exhibits and events taking place this fall at the Museum include “Lima Company Memorial: A Remembrance of Spirit & Choice.” Created by Columbus, Ohio, artist Anita Miller in memory of the 22 Marines and one Navy corpsman of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, who lost their lives in Iraq in 2005, the exhibition includes life-size paintings of the fallen service members. Honoring one of the hardest hit single units in Operation Iraqi Freedom, the traveling exhibit will be on display at the Museum for several months.

On October 22, 2009, the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation will dedicate the Semper Fidelis Memorial Chapel, adjacent to the National Museum of the Marine Corps. The non-denominational chapel will serve as a contemplative space where Marines and Americans can remember the sacrifices and honor those who have served the nation. The timber, glass, and stone structure evokes images of improvised field chapels familiar to all Marines and will feature an 8-foot-tall etched glass iconic image of a Vietnam Marine kneeling, as well as a reflecting pool.

For more information on the National Museum of the Marine Corps, call 703-784-6107 or visit

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Third Jihad Available for Free Online Streaming on Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks

/PRNewswire/ -- The producers of The Third Jihad ( are making the full feature-length documentary available to the public for online viewing, free of charge, on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

The film (regularly priced at $19.95) is available for free streaming in its entirety from Wednesday, September 9 through Tuesday, September 15 on the film's official website:

Individuals are encouraged to watch The Third Jihad and share the film with others. The free stream can also be embedded on any website, blog, Facebook page or social media platform.

"It is important to remember the motivations behind the worst attacks on American soil since the civil war-and to recognize that these same motivations remain eight years later," said Raphael Shore, Executive Producer of The Third Jihad.

The film is being made available as part of a grassroots initiative to educate the public about the threat that radical Islam continues to pose to national security and the American way of life.

"Almost a decade after the 9/11 attacks, radicals continue their fight with persistent attacks on our freedoms and democracy," added Shore. "These attacks take place daily in our courtrooms, our press, our banks, our prisons and even in our children's schools.

"Tens of thousands of concerned citizens have already seen this important film. Together we need to educate thousands more if we are to stand up and mobilize against the threat of radical Islam in the U.S."

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New York City to Fort Benning Motorcycle Run

The New York City to Fort Benning Motorcycle Run will be traveling down Georgia Interstate 85 and 185 on Tuesday, September 15th.

This police-escorted Run will be taking an iron and steel memorial from The Twin Towers (911 Site) to be erected at the National Infantry Museum. The 1000-mile-plus Run will also be raising money for the Fire Family Transport Foundation.

Accompanying the entire Run will be several FDNY Firefighters and Engine 343. Engine 343 is a 1951 Mack Fire Truck and is engraved with the names of the 343 Firefighters that lost their lives in The World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Some of the FDNY Firefighters accompanying the Run responded to The World Trade Center tragedy and hope to see Georgia Fire and Rescue agency personnel supporting this important and historic Run.

Please go to the following Web site for additional information and details on the Run at
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Monday, September 7, 2009

Ceremony to Commemorate Anniversary of 9/11 in Newnan

On September 11th at 9 a.m. a 9/11 tribute will be held at Veterans Memorial Plaza. The City of Newnan Police and Fire will hold the tribute in conjunction with Coweta County Sheriff and Fire, Coweta County EMT, the United States Military and the American Red Cross. All these agencies will be honoring the fallen and the victims of 9/11. The public is invited to the ceremony.

"We do this every year just to remember the people who lost their lives that day," said Newnan Police Chief Douglas L. "Buster" Meadows, whose brother was at the Pentagon when it was attacked. "We don't forget. We remember what happened because it changed the way we live our day-to-day lives."

The remembrance program will feature representatives from the branches of public service, and local attorney Mark Mitchell will be the featured speaker, said Gina Snider, City of Newnan public information officer.

Meadows said Mitchell assisted the Newnan-Coweta Public Safety Training Center Board in obtaining a non-profit status."He's been a big help to us," said Meadows. "He's a proponent of public safety. It will be fitting for him to be there."

The program will also include a flag ceremony, a gun salute, "Taps" and a moment of silence. A representative from each public safety agency will place a wreath at the park in honor of the victims of 9/11 and the soldiers who've been killed in action.

“Veterans are encouraged to attend the commemoration for their service and dedication to our country,” said Newnan Fire Chief David Whitley. ”This is always a good time to reflect and remember those in our military, continued Whitley.

For more information on the event please call 770-254-2355.

Since the 9/11 tragedy, a visitor center has opened in New York City. The Tribute WTC Visitor Center is a project of the September 11th Families' Association. The organization was created by Marian Fontana, Fire Department families and others in the immediate aftermath of September 11th. The mission was to establish a viable communications network for families of victims of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001. In 2004 the Association broadened its mission to create Tribute, a place where members of the September 11th community could connect with each other and with the thousands of visitors who come daily to the World Trade Center site (often called Ground Zero). For more info go to
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

U.S. Senate Joins House of Representatives in Passing Legislation to Establish September 11 as a National Day of Service

/PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Senate today joined with the U.S. House of Representatives in passing historic national service legislation (ServeAmerica Act S. 277) which, like the House GIVE Act, includes a key provision that would formally authorize federal support for establishing the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on America as a "National Day of Service and Remembrance." U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) worked closely with U.S. Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), co-sponsors of the ServeAmerica Act, to include language supporting the 9/11 Day of Service observance, a program long advocated by the organization. The 9/11 nonprofit organization was founded in 2002 with widespread support from the 9/11 family community to establish September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Now passed, the House and Senate bills will proceed to conference to reconcile any differences. A final bill approved by both houses of Congress is expected to be delivered to President Barack Obama for his signature within days.

"For more than seven years, we have worked along with many 9/11 families, first responders, volunteers, and rescue and recovery workers with the hope that one day we would be able to formally establish 9/11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance," said David Paine, founder and president of "Today we stand just a pen stroke away from creating a historic observance that ensures that the lives of those lost are forever remembered in a constructive and compassionate way by millions of people for generations to come."

"I could not be more proud to work to pass this important provision," said Senator Schumer in a press release ( "September 11 should not only be a day for mourning - it should be a day to think about our neighbors, our community and our country. We can take a tragic day in our nation's history and turn it into a force for good."

A New Catalyst for Volunteerism

Under both the House and Senate bills, the anniversary of 9/11 would annually be observed in ways similar to Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Individuals, employees, students, members of organizations and others would voluntarily engage in service and remembrance through acts of good deeds, personal and organized service activities and reflection. However, the anniversary of 9/11 would intentionally not be a federal holiday - rather than a traditional day off, it would be a day devoted to community service and other acts of goodwill.

"We are confident that establishing 9/11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance will play a major role in further energizing volunteerism in America, while also bringing a sense of national healing to one of the worst human tragedies in U.S. history," said Jay S. Winuk, co-founder and vice president of, and brother of attorney and 9/11 rescuer Glenn J. Winuk, a firefighter/EMT who perished when the World Trade Center's South Tower collapsed., a 501c(3) charitable organization based in New York, has lead the seven-year effort to establish 9/11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Each year organizes activities that encourage individuals and organizations to set aside time on the anniversary of 9/11 to perform simple acts of good deeds and service that help others in need. Along with Senator Schumer, U.S. Representative Peter King (R-NY) has been a vocal advocate of the Day of Service initiative and serves as co-chair of MyGoodDeed's Congressional Advisory Board.

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9/11 Families Urge Judge to Release Aviation Security Evidence on Terrorist Attacks

/PRNewswire / -- Calling for truth, rather than secrecy, to be the legacy of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, attorneys for a group of 9/11 family members are presenting oral arguments today urging U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein to release more than one hundred deposition transcripts and over a million pages of evidence relating to the aviation security failures resulting in the worst terrorist attack in American history.

In hearings being held in the September 11th litigation against the aviation industry, the families are arguing that public disclosure of these materials, which the defendants are trying to keep confidential, will strengthen our security and provide the public with vital information without compromising the defendants' proprietary interests. They are joined in their motion by The New York Times Company and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP).

"This is about completing the historical record of 9/11," said Mike Low of Batesville, Ark., father of Sara Low, 28, an American Airlines flight attendant who was on Flight 11 which struck the World Trade Center. "To learn all the lessons of this horrific day, to protect ourselves from future terrorist attacks, and to know the truth -- a foundation of our democracy -- this body of evidence should be available to all of the American people."

"I have the right to know why my mother was killed on September 11, 2001 and the American people have the right to know how our nation became so vulnerable," said Paul Keating of Ashland, Mass., son of Barbara Ann Keating, 72, a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11. "This information will ensure transparency and accountability, and it will empower our country to prevent future attacks on our citizens."

"This motion has nothing to do with classified information and everything to do with the defendants' abuse of the confidentiality process," said Don Migliori of the law firm Motley Rice LLC, lead counsel for the plaintiffs. "None of the evidence contested today has been designated as sensitive for aviation security purposes. Rather, the defendants are trying to protect themselves from public embarrassment and legal liability by claiming that release of virtually every document in question would violate trade secrets."

As an example that the defendants' claims are groundless, Migliori notes that the families have demanded answers to questions about the qualifications of the preboard screeners on duty on 9/11, including whether they met the minimum requirements of fluency in English, high school diplomas and clean criminal records. The families also have demanded information about the training of the preboard screeners and whether or not the items used to carry out the hijackings, as reported on each of the four flights, were permitted on board those planes. The answers to these questions, these families argue, need to be open to the public.

"The defendants' arguments are insulting to those families who took the risk and pursued litigation over the no-fault Victim's Compensation Fund," said Migliori. "Sweeping this evidence under the rug would deny accountability to the 9/11 family members, handicap our nation's ability to protect itself, undermine our democratic principles, and prevent historians today and in the future from writing the complete record of this tragic, pivotal event."

Today's hearing on the plaintiffs' motion to set aside the defendants' claims of confidentiality is part of In re: September 11 Litigation, pending before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The families allege that the aviation security in place on September 11, 2001 was grossly inadequate.

The families first sought to have the confidentiality order removed in 2007. On March 19, 2008, the request was withdrawn as both sides tried to negotiate a resolution. That effort failed and the families renewed their motion on January 14, 2009. The New York Times Company and the RCFP moved for leave to intervene on January 21, 2009. Judge Hellerstein's ruling on the motion being argued today is expected soon.

"My daughter was a hero," said Low. "I learned only through this litigation and only in the last three months that, in her last terrifying moments, Sara stayed calm, tended to passengers and co-workers, and made sure that authorities on the ground knew what was happening on board. If Judge Hellerstein supports our motion, her legacy will be part of the history books. I can't think of anything more fitting for this amazing young woman."

"My mother volunteered countless hours to make her community a better place to live," Keating said. "In that same tradition, our legal action and this motion are designed to make America a better place, because everyone will have the same access to the truth. The more we know, the stronger we are."

"By shining the light of public disclosure on the evidence developed in this historic case, Judge Hellerstein can ensure that the enduring legacy of In Re September 11 Litigation is to advance our nation's best traditions of openness, unity, and truth," Migliori said.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

What Is Terrorist Travel? Latest Installment in Video Series

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's refusal to even use the word "terrorism" in remarks prepared for a congressional hearing last week underlines the fact that she has yet to commit to upholding the laws that derive from the 9/11 Commission's recommendations on border security.

To highlight the importance of these measures, Janice Kephart has prepared the latest installment in her "Border Basics" educational video series, this one entitled "What Is Terrorist Travel?" Kephart, the Director of National Security Policy at the Center for Immigration Studies and former counsel to the 9/11 Commission, concludes that securing against terrorist travel is essential to eliminate the fraud that enables people to enter, stay, and work in this country for illegal purposes. The video can be viewed online at:

Among the laws based on 9/11 Commission recommendations which Napolitano is now responsible for are:

-- The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, requiring Americans and all
others to present a passport or biometric equivalent at the border.
-- US-VISIT, requiring certain non-American applicants for admission at
ports of entry to take biometric fingerprint and photos.
-- Security guidelines for countries participating in the Visa Waiver
Program that enables the United States to conduct preliminary vetting
of individuals before they arrive.
-- REAL ID, requiring identity verification and legal presence in order
for a state-issued driver license or ID to be acceptable for federal
purposes like boarding airplanes.
-- E-Verify, a highly successful program shown to be 99.5 percent
accurate that helps employers comply with federal law by verifying the
identity and work authorization of new hires.

Verifying identity, authenticating travel documents, and assuring legal status to live and work in the United States have all proven their worth in improving security. Since terrorists exploit many of the same border vulnerabilities as identity thieves, drug runners, alien smugglers, and illegal aliens to enter and stay in the United States illicitly, it is imperative that the lessons learned and reforms recommended by the 9/11 Commission remain on the front burner of policy development. And yet solid programs that work to expose, deter, and arrest fraud are at risk of stagnating or even being rolled back.

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