Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union

You're on an older version of the site, please click here to view the current site

Rebuilding NYC - brought to you by Gotham Gazette
Gotham Gazette Gotham Gazette

Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union

You're on an older version of the site, please click here to view the current site

Rebuilding NYC

Focus on Impact On New Yorkers

•  The Psychological Impact
•  Relatives of Victims: Their Story
•  Health Risks Near Ground Zero?

Current News
All News

9/11 In Arts And Culture
The Anniversary
Rebuild Downtown
The Memorial
Impact on New Yorkers
Economic Rebuilding
Ground Zero

Relatives of Victims: Their Story

The relatives of the victims of September 11 have become a potent force and an outspoken voice in the city.


Don't Kick WTC Kin While They're Down - March 18, 2002
Dennis McKeon, director of St. Clare's WTC Outreach Program, criticizes the media's focus on the families of the September 11 victims, responding in particular to the recent comics of Ted Rall. "Our new purpose is to sort out all the red tape," writes McKeon. "Champagne, caviar, limousines and opportunists with dollar signs in their eyes, like the characters in one of Rall's cartoons, are nowhere in sight." (New York Daily News)

Putting a Value on Lives - Jan 24, 2002
"There has been mounting criticism from the families of the victims of Sept. 11 that the compensation fund established last year by Congress is unfair," writes the Times in this editorial. "Our own sense is that these complaints are overdrawn. Within the constraints of the program Congress handed him, Mr. Feinberg seems to have made serious efforts to be fair, open-minded and flexible. While the preliminary regulations obviously needed work, they do not deserve the broad condemnation they have received." (New York Times)

More Resources

Helping The Heroes Organization
Helping the Heroes is a volunteer not for profit organization that was started to provide comfort and services to the families and communities affected by the September 11th Attacks on America. Also includes information on Skyscraper Safety advocacy.

DNA Collection Information
Site of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, it includes an official list of those still reported by the city as missing but not yet identified.

Give Your Voice for WTC Victims' Families
Founded by the widow of a civilian killed at the World Trade Center, this group seeks to give families a voice in the recovery of remains and memorials to the victims.

Families of September 11
Their mission stated on their website is "to promote the interests of families of victims of the September 11 attacks and support public policies that improve the prevention of and response to terrorism."

United Way of New York City
The United Way of New York City and the New York Community Trust established the September 11th Fund, which is being distributed to organizations that provide aid. This Web site provides information on how to apply for cash grants and obtain referrals to agencies that can provide assistance.

WTC Relief Info
The office of the New York State Attorney General operates this site. Although it primarily serves the needs of New York residents, many of the charities listed on the site are national organizations that will help people in any part of the country. The site has a sophisticated search function that enables you to quickly identify the charities best suited to your needs.

WTC United Family Group
Founded by the brother of a World Trade Center victim, WTC United Family Group is a support and information network for the families and friends of the victims and survivors of the September 11 attacks.

9-11 Widows' and Victims' Families Association
Founding by the widow of a New York City firefighter, this organization's chief goal is the dignified recovery of the victims' remains from Ground Zero.

News Stories

Victims' Families Oppose Bus Depot On WTC Site - Mar 1, 2003
Some victims' family members are calling a plan to build an undergound parking garage on the World Trade Center site disrespectful. The Coalition of 9/11 Families says the thought of buses parking on what they consider sacred ground is upsetting. They also say the plan is a security risk. (NY1)

Families Angry At Plan To Put Bus Garage in WTC Pit - Feb 11, 2003
Secretive plans to turn part of the World Trade Center "bathtub" into a bus garage could put development officials on a collision course with angry family members who consider the Ground Zero pit sacred space. The decision - and the reluctance to talk about it publicly - has angered relatives of 9/11 victims who have been calling for months for the WTC pit to be declared off-limits to all development down to bedrock. (New York Post)

7 Families Sue Administrator of 9/11 Fund - Jan 27, 2003
In the most sweeping challenge yet to the federal fund intended to compensate relatives of Sept. 11 victims, the families of seven victims who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald have filed a lawsuit accusing the fund's administrator of acting illegally and unfairly, thereby shortchanging the families of all New York victims. (New York Times)

Public Says "Slow Down" At Hearing On Memorial - Jan 15, 2003
If there was one demand people made last night to those in charge of building a memorial for the World Trade Center site it was to slow down. "What's the rush?" asked Amy Rogers of Manhattan. "Let's do it right." She was among scores of speakers at the continuation of a two-night public forum at Pace University on the redevelopment of the site. (Newsday)

Victims Family Group Cool To Idea of Keeping Pit Empty - Jan 8, 2003
A Ground Zero design proposal to preserve the empty pit where the Twin Towers once stood is getting a cool reception from a surprising quarter - the 9/11 families who have campaigned for months to set aside the trade center "bathtub" area for a memorial. "We don't want to leave a hole in the ground," said Lee Ielpi, a member of the Coalition of 9/11 Families, whose firefighter son Jonathan was killed. "I don't want to go below grade for the memorial. I want the memorial to be up in the sunlight." (New York Post)

Build Memorial First, Says Victims Family Group - Jan 8, 2003
A coalition representing victims' relatives demanded last night that a memorial be built at Ground Zero before anything else - and complained that most rebuilding plans ignore that concern. Lee Ielpi of the Coalition of 9/11 Families said relatives of those killed in the terror attack on the World Trade Center have always wanted a memorial occupying the entire 9-acre "bathtub" to rise first on the site. Ielpi said only two of the nine architectural plans for the site - the ones by Daniel Libeskind and United Architects - set aside the needed space for a memorial. (New York Daily News)

Outspoken 9/11 Widow Joins Memorial Panel - Nov 28, 2002
Monica Iken, the widow of a Sept. 11 victim and one of the most outspoken advocates for victims' families during the rebuilding process, has been appointed to one of the two committees overseeing the planning of a memorial. Iken was notified of the appointment by letter this week, more than a week after the committees were announced. Some family members had complained publicly that rebuilding officials were ignoring people who have sometimes criticized the rebuilding effort. (New York Times)

Federal Victims Fund Master Insults Staten Island - Nov 20, 2002
The man in charge of doling out federal funds to Sept. 11 victims' families called Staten Island a "Third World country" - prompting cries yesterday for his firing. Representative Vito Fossella urged Attorney General John Ashcroft to fire Kenneth Feinberg, the Victim Compensation Fund's special master. But Feinberg insisted last night he has no plans to leave -- even after issuing an apology for the slur. (New York Daily News)

Some Victims' Families Feel Influence on 9/11 Memorial Slipping Away - Nov 16, 2002
One of the most potent political forces to rise from the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center -- the widows and other family members of those killed last year on Sept. 11 -- has found its influence over the rebuilding and memorial efforts gradually but significantly eroding. (New York Times)

Families Propose WTC 'Tomb' - Nov 12, 2002
Still reeling from the creation of a new committee structure to develop a memorial at the World Trade Center site, a coalition of 9/11 families is proposing a tomb-like structure to house unidentified remains of those lost Sept. 11. (Newsday)

9/11 Aid Forms Are Becoming Minibiographies of the Dead - Oct 26, 2002
For many people, applying to the federal Victim Compensation Fund figured to be something of a clinical exercise, a statistical blur in which thousands of families would compute the lost earnings of loved ones who died on 9/11, then wait for the government to mail out checks. But for many families and friends of victims, and lawyers who did not even know them, the application process has given the create intimate minibiographies about the dead, based on interviews, photos or videotapes. For the families, the most important motivation to assemble these narratives may not be the push for more compensation, though they certainly may have that effect. Instead, the real value may lie in their timeless and therapeutic resonance in telling the full story of life, love and loss beyond cold, raw numbers. (New York Times)

Families: Return Ash at Fresh Kills Landfill to WTC - Oct 23, 2002
Relatives of people lost in the Sept. 11 attack told a City Council panel yesterday that government officials should collect dust and ash taken to the Fresh Kills landfill during the recovery and return it to the World Trade Center site as part of a future memorial. (Newsday)

9/11 Families Upset That Landfill Could Be Final Resting Place - Oct 20, 2002
Diane Horning won't allow the ashes of her son and other Sept. 11 victims to be treated "like garbage." She was stunned recently to discover that soil and ashes containing cremated remains of many killed on 9/11 remain at the Fresh Kills landfill. They have been covered with dirt and sprinkled with grass seed. Horning and her family are leading a drive to return the remains to what she and others believe is their rightful resting place: Ground Zero. (New York Post)

Big-Name Lawyers To Assist Federal Victims Compensation Fund - Sep 24, 2002
Kenneth R. Feinberg, the special master in charge of administering the federal September 11 Victims Compensation Fund, has invited 41 retired judges, lawyers and professors to join a new legal system that will mediate objections raised by the families and help determine how much each victim's family should receive. Among those assisting are William H. Webster, the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Nicholas deB. Katzenbach, the former attorney general, and Arthur R. Miller, the Harvard law professor. (New York Times)

Victims' Families Make Trip to Ground Zero - Sep 12, 2002
For some families of Sept. 11 victims, the one-year anniversary was a milestone that had to be stepped over, not a moment to be embraced. (New York Daily News)

Dozens of Suits Filed Against Port Authority for Attacks - Sep 11, 2002
About 1,000 families and victims of the Sept. 11 attacks beat a deadline yesterday to sue the Port Authority for hundreds of millions of dollars, blaming the owner of the World Trade Center for dangerous design faults and safety failures. (New York Post)

Legal Deadline Approaches for 9/11 Families - Sep 9, 2002
Thousands who lost loved ones in the Sept. 11 attacks could miss their chance to sue the Port Authority because they're either preoccupied with grief or unaware of tomorrow's deadline for filing suit, lawyers say. The Port Authority has received more than 1,000 notices of intent to sue, said agency spokesman Allen Morrison. But perhaps double that number have potential claims and have not filed such a notice, which is required before suing. (New York Post)

9/11 Families Feel Apart From the Country - Sep 8, 2002
A year later, the families of Sept. 11 ? a small city's worth of widows, parents and other kin touched by terror ? say that what defines them most is their sense of separation from other Americans. As a nation that wept together resumes its hectic, distracted course, family members and outsiders say, September's bereaved have become a lost legion, left to find their own way. (New York Times)

Gathering For Widows Who Gave Birth After 9/11 - Sep 7, 2002
Widows who gave birth after Sept. 11 gathered yesterday at Cipriani in Midtown in preparation for the first anniversary of the attacks. (New York Times)

Liberty Island Hosts Family Party - Sep 5, 2002
Liberty Island was opened at night for the first time in four years yesterday, for a night of live music and fireworks to mark the end of a "summer camp" for relatives of the 9/11 victims. (New York Post)

Judge Says Sept. 11 Families Can Change Minds on Suing - Sep 4, 2002
A federal judge in Manhattan said yesterday that he would allow families of Sept. 11 victims who decide to sue the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to change their minds if they later decide to seek an award from the Victim Compensation Fund. (New York Times)

Judge Weighs 9/11 Suit Deadline - Aug 30, 2002
A federal judge will consider whether families of Sept. 11 victims can launch legal action against the Port Authority over the next 11 days without forfeiting the chance of receiving money from the government's victims compensation fund. (New York Post)

A Staten Island Support Group's Powerful Bond - Aug 28, 2002
Cheri Sparacio, who lost husband Tom, has found support through fellow widows and widowers. In the months after the attack, a group grew in Staten Island. Maybe it could only have happened in a place like Staten Island, where the local politicians organized monthly meetings for the families and everyone read The Advance. (Newsday)

Tense Exchange at Meeting on Memorial - Aug 21, 2002
Emotions were raw last night at a public meeting for a World Trade Center memorial as relatives of victims questioned the authority of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. A tense interchange occurred at the Staten Island meeting after victims' family members asked who would make the final decision on the memorial design. (Newsday)

Staten Island Victims' Families Angry at Search for Design - Aug 21, 2002
Lower Manhattan Development Corp. officials ran into criticism last night over how they intend to select a design for a World Trade Center memorial. At the first of five public hearings, nearly 60 relatives of Sept. 11 victims accused the LMDC of giving higher priority to commercial development at the site than to a fitting tribute to the fallen. (New York Daily News)

Families Angry at WTC Hawking - Aug 21, 2002
To the disgust of the families of those killed Sept. 11, more and more street vendors are crowding sidewalks near Ground Zero, trying to make a quick buck off wide-eyed tourists. (New York Daily News)

WTC Families Leery of Bloomberg, Port Authority - Aug 12, 2002
Whom do you trust more: the Port Authority or City Hall? The answer isn't easy for the families of those killed in the World Trade Center attacks. With the Bloomberg administration pursuing a deal to swap city land beneath Kennedy and LaGuardia airports for the Port Authority-owned Trade Center site, victims' kin differ on who should control the fate of Ground Zero. (New York Daily News)

Families Concerned About Transit Plans - Aug 12, 2002
Nearly a year after Sept. 11, victims' relatives and observers are concerned that plans for creating the Ground Zero memorial are in limbo - with transit projects beneath the site driving the process. The transit issue is one of many concerns related to the permanent memorial that 9/11 relatives detailed during meetings with Gov. Pataki and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani last week. (New York Post)

A Hard Year for 9/11 Victims' Children - Aug 9, 2002
With the coming anniversary of the day the world fell down, some in the adult world will try to have Sept. 11, 2002, signify the date on which life moves on. But for the children who lost a parent, sometimes two parents, or for those who never found the parent's body, some fear that the confusion has left some unmedicated sores that will fester. In the long term, child psychologists foresee anxieties, irrational fear of death, aggression, attachment disorders. (New York Times)

Victims' Families Avoid Aid Fund - Aug 9, 2002
The vast majority of families of 9/11 victims are still too traumatized or suspicious of the government to apply for compensation for their suffering, even though million-dollar-plus packages are already in the mail. Only about 650 out of about 3,300 victims eligible, or about 20 percent, have applied for compensation. (New York Post)

Family of 9/11 Victim Accepts $1.04 Million in U.S. Compensation - Aug 8, 2002
The family of a financial services employee from New York City who died on Sept. 11 has become the first to acknowledge accepting an award from the federal Victim Compensation Fund. (New York Times)

9/11 Survivors Take on Mission of Remembrance - Aug 5, 2002
A new breed of activists have transformed the pain of losing a loved one on Sept. 11 into a shared quest to accomplish something lasting. They are homemakers, electricians, insurance executives, retirees and teachers who have joined forces to change laws guiding building construction and put their stamp on redevelopment plans for downtown. (New York Daily News)

Schumer Bill Would Allow 9/11 Victims' Fund Lawyers To Collect Fees Up To 12 - Aug 5, 2002
Senator Schumer is drafting legislation that would let attorneys collect between 8 and 12% of a family’s payout from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, a victims’ advocate said. The Schumer plan is a compromise between Senator Nickles, who did not want lawyers to take any money from the fund, and the trial lawyers themselves, who want no limit on their contingency fees. (New York Sun)

Cases Seen as Guide to 9/11 Fund Payouts - Aug 4, 2002
Kenneth Feinberg, the special master of the federal victims' compensation fund, will soon release his first round of payment calculations for the families of those killed and injured on Sept. 11. Lawyers advising victims and their families on whether to apply for the fund are watching the decisions closely. (Newsday)

Saying No to Free 9/11 Aid, Many Families Hire Lawyers - Jul 29, 2002
Many relatives of victims who were killed on Sept. 11 have turned down free legal advice offered by lawyers because of delays, confusion, and cynical perceptions. Now at least 500 families have hired paid lawyers who could collect fees of up to 25 percent of the awards paid by the federal Victim Compensation Fund. (New York Times)

WTC Victim's Wife Given Green Card - Jul 26, 2002
A British woman who lost her right to live in the U.S. when her husband was killed in the World Trade Center attack was granted a green card yesterday. (New York Daily News)

A Forum on Rebuilding Lower Manhattan - Jul 20, 2002
When more than 5,000 people gather today at the Javits Convention Center to talk about the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan, plenty of people, Gov. George E. Pataki among them, are likely to be listening closely. Since Tuesday, when the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey released six initial proposals for the redesign of the World Trade Center site, a wave of negative commentary has flowed from architects, urban designers, politicians and journalists. (New York Times)

State Has Paid $32 Billion to 9/11 Families - Jul 20, 2002
The state Crime Victims Board has paid $32 million to Sept. 11 terror victims and their families for lost salaries and burial expenses, it was revealed yesterday. The board, whose mission is to provide financial help to victims of all crimes, has so far settled 5,361 Sept. 11-related claims, officials said. (New York Post)

9/11 Families Coalition Waiting to Comment - Jul 19, 2002
A coalition of 9/11 victims' relatives has decided to wait until after a major public forum tomorrow before commenting on the six Ground Zero designs. Lee Ielpi, a retired firefighter who lost his son Jonathan, said coalition members decided to listen to feedback from other people at the "Listening to the City" event at the Javits Convention Center tomorrow. (New York Post)

Victims' Group Calls For Inquiry Into 9/11 Communications Breakdown, - Jul 15, 2002
A group representing families and friends of World Trade Center victims called yesterday for an independent inquiry into reports that the Fire Department's failing radio system and a lack of communication among the agencies that responded to the attack hampered the rescue efforts on Sept. 11. Members of the group, the Skyscraper Safety Campaign, sent letters yesterday to Gov. George E. Pataki, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Gifford Miller, the City Council speaker, asking for meetings and for an independent investigation of the rescue effort. (New York Times)

Hundreds of 9/11 Families File for Right to Sue Port Authority - Jul 10, 2002
More than 450 families who lost relatives on Sept. 11 have filed legal papers preserving their right to sue the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey over alleged safety lapses and poor evacuation procedures at the World Trade Center. (New York Times)

At Camp for Sept. 11 Children, Grief Is Close - Jul 6, 2002
There are dozens of summer camps running programs for families shattered by Sept. 11. Some have built-in bereavement programs. Others are simply intended to let children get away and have fun. But all the programs are grappling with a common obstacle: while many children could benefit from a getaway in the country, many are not ready to be away from their remaining parents. (New York Times)

Families Might Sue Port Authority Over 9/11 Losses - Jul 1, 2002
Dozens of families who lost loved ones Sept. 11 are set to serve notice today they might sue the Port Authority ‹ charging the agency failed to promptly evacuate the south tower after the north tower was attacked. The deadline for filing notices of claim against the Port Authority is July 10. (New York Daily News)

Families Show Vision for Large Memorial - Jun 28, 2002
Victims' families advising the developers of the World Trade Center site unveiled their vision for a large memorial complex yesterday. They called for an indoor/outdoor complex that encompasses roughly 9 acres, about half the available land. (New York Daily News)

Victims' Kin to Speak at 9/11 Safety Hearing - Jun 24, 2002
Fire safety experts, engineers and families of victims killed in the World Trade Center will call today for stricter building and fire codes and better evacuation procedures in high-rises at a day-long hearing on the collapse of the twin towers sponsored by the U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology. (New York Daily News)

Relatives of Victims Pay Respect in Final Tribute At Ground Zero - Jun 3, 2002
Nearly nine months after hijacked jets knifed into the twin towers, about 900 victims' relatives gathered at a final memorial service before the recovery effort gives way completely to redevelopment. Clutching photographs of the dead, relatives of the more than 2,800 murdered on Sept. 11 lingered at the edge of Ground Zero and stared into the void where the bodies of 1,700 could not be found. (New York Daily News)

Trade Center Victims' Families Criticize Mayor For Skipping Ceremony - Jun 1, 2002
Mayor Bloomberg drew fiery criticism from the families of some Sept. 11 victims for turning down an invitation to tomorrow's family service at Ground Zero. "He went back and forth all week long and decided that the families should have their time," said Bloomberg's press secretary . "He is sincerely appreciative of the invitation." (New York Daily News)

At Ground Zero, Uneasy Agreement on Final Rite - May 27, 2002
Suggestions from construction workers, firefighters, victims' relatives and anyone else with a direct link to the disaster site helped inform Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's final decision to hold a simple ceremony on Thursday, with an empty stretcher, a truck carrying the last girder, a little music and a lot of silence. But some family members have accused the mayor of increasing their pain by choosing to hold the ceremony on a weekday, rather than on a weekend. Some have even suggested that he simply did not want his weekend disrupted. (New York Times)

Alternative Ceremony For Victims' Families Planned - May 24, 2002
Members of several families who lost relatives in the Sept. 11 terror attack plan to hold their own ceremony on June 2, a Sunday, to mark the end of efforts to recover remains from ground zero. The city, which will hold its official ceremony next Thursday, will issue a permit to the group as long as it complies with safety regulations, Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday. Bloomberg has pointed out that next Thursday was chosen because it will not interfere with religious observances, while the families want a weekend observance. (New York Times)

Kin Uniting on Memorial - May 21, 2002
A broad consensus is emerging for the first time among families of those killed Sept. 11 on how much of the World Trade Center site should be used for a permanent memorial. The families recently presented a proposal that calls for the memorial to consist of the footprints of the twin towers and the Marriott World Trade Center Hotel, as well as the land inside the site's retaining wall. (New York Daily News)

Victims' Families Criticize Choice of Weekday For Ground Zero Ceremony - May 17, 2002
Mayor Bloomberg announced plans yesterday for a May 30 ceremony to mark the "symbolic end" of cleanup work at Ground Zero and immediately faced stiff criticism from victims' families for not scheduling it on a weekend. Some family members complained that although City Hall told them of the May 30 date this week, they were given no chance to suggest alternatives. And they -- as well as some Port Authority cops -- were angry at having to choose between going to work and honoring their loved ones. (New York Daily News)

Families of Undocumented Workers Killed On September 11 Struggle For Relief - May 6, 2002
Undocumented immigrants who were the breadwinners for families died in the collapse of the World Trade Center. But in the aftermath of a tragedy in which terrorism was the great equalizer, the survivors of these victims have encountered unique problems in navigating the bureaucracy of death, say lawyers, immigrant groups and consular officials. And many are also being denied significant financial assistance, because more often than not, they are also here illegally. (New York Times)

State To Give Tax Refunds To 9/11 Victims' Families - May 3, 2002
Part of a new state budget agreement is a plan to give full state tax refunds for 2000 and 2001 to those killed in the World Trade Center attacks. The Pataki administration estimated the estates of about 2,500 individuals will be eligible for the refunds, which should average about $10,000 each and cost the state a total of $25 million. (New York Daily News)

Relatives of Victims Criticize Government Investigation of September 11 - May 1, 2002
Victims' relatives and Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn) will be at a news conference today to criticize a report detailing the federal government's investigation of September 11. "Many families don't have confidence in the ... report because of how sloppy the investigation was at the outset," Weiner said. (New York Daily News)

Gay Partner Seeks World Trade Center Benefits - Apr 23, 2002
A gay man who lost his partner in the World Trade Center is asking the state workersÕ compensation board to consider him as the manÕs spouse. It is the first case brought by a gay partner seeking workersÕ compensation coverage in New York. (Newsday)

Victims' Relatives Not To Be Penalized For Pension Benefits, Says Victims Fund Manager - Apr 19, 2002
The families of firefighters and cops killed Sept. 11 will now be able to keep some pension benefits -- in addition to their payout from the federal government, a top official said yesterday. Surviving families had angrily complained that the government's plan to deduct the amount of their pension payments from any federal money they got was unfair. But Kenneth Feinberg, overseer of the federal compensation fund, reversed course on the controversial issue. (New York Daily News)

Less Than 10 Percent Of Victims' Relatives Applying For Federal Aid - Apr 18, 2002
Less than 10 percent of the relatives of people killed in the Sept. 11 attacks have sought sought compensation through the federal government's victims fund. Only 265 applications from relatives of the 3,054 people killed have been received, according to Justice Department figures. The lag is due in part to confusion about the fund's rules, and awards from charities that have bought families time to weigh their options, victims groups say. (New York Post)

Legal Firm Assisting Victims' Families Asking For Ten Percent Of Any Awards - Mar 29, 2002
Kreindler & Kreindler, a private law firm helping victims' families secure awards from the federal Victims Compensation Fund, is charging families 10 percent of any award they will eventually receive from the fund even though free legal representation is available to the widows elsewhere. (New York Times)

September 11 Victims' Families Sought To Aid Prosecutors In Getting Death Penalty - Mar 28, 2002
Justice Department officials want the relatives of those killed and to those injured in the World Trade Center disaster last Sept. 11 to put their emotions to practical use and to help win the death penalty for a suspect charged in the attacks. Officials are interviewing hundreds of people to find 30 individual stories that illustrate the impact of the losses and help prosecutors get a death sentence against Zacarias Moussaoui, who has been charged with conspiracy in the attacks and is scheduled for trial this fall in Alexandria, Virginia. (New York Times)

Boxing Match To Raise Funds For 9/11 Victims' Families - Mar 27, 2002
The organizers of Champions and Heroes ...A Corporate Night at the Fights hope to raise $100,000 for police and firefighters' widows and children. At $500 a ticket for dinner and nine fights at the New York Sheraton Hotel and Towers, the event is an upscale version of the fund-raisers usually organized by the NYPD Boxing Association. (New York Daily News)

Many Victims Unable To Get Assistance Six Months After Attacks - Mar 13, 2002
The New York Immigration Coalition anounced this week that six months after the attacks of September 11, many low-wage immigrant workers and family members of victims are hindered in their attempts to access relief programs. The obstacles include geographic restrictions, language barriers, and confusion on eligibility due to immigration status restrictions on certain relief programs. The coalition called for a a late filing process and an emergency eviction and utility cut-off prevention program to help those in need. (Gotham Gazette)

Support Group Helping 9/11 Families With Coney Island Outing - Mar 10, 2002
Rich Fontaine and Mike McGovern, two longtime friends from Mill Basin, founded an organization called Helping the Heroes and a Web site Ñ Ñ to provide guidance and support for the families of the World Trade Center victims. Among their plans is a Coney Island outing at Astroland Park for the families to take place on March 24. Other outings are planned for the summer. (New York Daily News)

Federal Aid for Victims' Families Officially Increased - Mar 8, 2002
Months of furious and often heartbreaking debate over the federal Sept. 11 victims' compensation fund ended yesterday with the announcement of final regulations and an average payout of about $1.85 million. In last-minute changes, fund administrators decided not to subtract personal pensions and retirement accounts, such as 401(k) plans, from fund payments. But other benefits, such as life insurance payouts, will be deducted from the awards. Payouts from the fund will total about $7 billion. (New York Daily News)

Relatives of Victims To Get More From Federal Government - Mar 6, 2002
Spouses and children of Sept. 11 victims will get more cash than they expected Ñ an extra $50,000 per survivor Ñ but less than they hoped for from the federal compensation fund, under final regulations to be announced tomorrow afternoon. The average family will receive about $1.7 million, $100,000 more than forecast previously. Payments for survivors' pain and suffering and loss of companionship are doubled to $100,000. However, life insurance payouts, Social Security payments to children, workers' compensation and federal death benefits for public employees will all be subtracted from awards, the sources said. (New York Daily News)

Editorial Cartoon Angers Widows - Mar 6, 2002
An editorial cartoon that ridicules widows of World Trade Center victims as greedy and shallow publicity hounds drew instant outrage last night from the grieving survivors. Ted Rall's drawing, "Terror Widows," abruptly yanked from The New York Times Web site yesterday, skewers the women as getting rich from charity aid and preening for TV cameras. The cartoon can be found at Ted Rall's web site. (New York Daily News)

New Rules In Store For Sept. 11 Federal Compensation Fund - Mar 5, 2002
The Bush administration is close to a decision on several changes in the Victims Compensation Fund that could result in scores of families' receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars more than the fund's original rules would have allowed. The new rules would open the fund to hundreds of additional rescue workers and World Trade Center employees who were injured in the attack, including those who suffered disabling lung ailments. In the most significant financial adjustment, the amount to spouses and children for noneconomic damages like loss of companionship would go to $100,000 from $50,000. (New York Times)

Widows Seek To Ask Congress for Broader Investigation Into Collapse - Mar 4, 2002
Several dozen widows and parents of World Trade Center victims, as well as New York City firefighters, intend to travel to Washington on Wednesday to urge Congress to expand the federal investigation into the structural failure of the twin towers. The group plans to attend a hearing before the House Science Committee, where several fire and engineering experts will review the progress of the inquiry. The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. (New York Times)

Families Group Asks CBS To Postpone September 11 Video - Mar 1, 2002
Bergen County Prosecutor William H. Schmidt, writing on behalf of families of September 11 victims, has asked CBS to postpone a March 10 documentary featuring exclusive videotape shot inside the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. Schmidt suggested that CBS wait at least six more months before showing "9/11," because it could be upsetting to family and friends of those lost in the terrorist attacks. He did not threaten to take any legal action in a bid to stop the broadcast. (Newsday)

Families Approve of Two Interim Memorial Ideas - Mar 1, 2002
At a meeting of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation's advisory council last night, families of those who perished in the World Trade Center attacks approved tentative plans yesterday for two temporary memorials near the site. (New York Daily News)

Giuliani To Distribute Twin Towers Fund Within 60 Days - Feb 27, 2002
In an effort to end a bitter dispute, former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani agreed yesterday to distribute within 60 days $100 million in the city Twin Towers Fund to the families of 430 uniformed and civilian rescuers who died on September 11. Many of the families had criticized efforts by the former mayor to privately run the charity, hire a staff of 12 and perhaps take months or years to distribute the millions of dollars. Some had threatened to sue to block Giuliani from controlling the fund, which had been collected under the auspices of City Hall. (New York Times)

Relatives of Victims to Request an Indoor Viewing Area - Feb 26, 2002
World Trade Center family groups will meet with Mayor Bloomberg tomorrow to demand an indoor viewing area inside a building overlooking Ground Zero so they can get a better view of how the cleanup is progressing. Farrell said the five family groups that make up the World Trade Center Family Committee want the viewing area moved to an upper floor of a building on Liberty St. Other demands include increasing the number of workers charged with searching the rubble by hand for human remains, more frequent meetings with the mayor and access to Ground Zero once the recovery is finished. (New York Daily News)

Service Held for 1993 World Trade Center Victims - Feb 26, 2002
Six victims who were killed nine years ago when terrorists bombed the World Trade Center were remembered today with a Mass near ground zero, where terrorists slaughtered about 3,000 on Sept. 11. About 200 people attended the service at St. PeterÕs Church, just a few steps from the Trade Center site. (Newsday)

Families of 1993 Bombing Victims Feeling Left Out - Feb 25, 2002
More than a dozen friends and relatives of the victims of the 1993 bombing held a news conference outside City Hall yesterday, asking why they had not been eligible for government aid, why charities had not raised money for them in their time of need, why they had been left out of the recent tax relief law, and why they had not been consulted about plans for a new memorial to World Trade Center victims. Senator Charles E. Schumer, who joined the relatives at the news conference, said that he would call John C. Whitehead, the chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, and ask him to consult the families of the 1993 victims before planning a memorial.

1993 Victims Families Included in Advisory Council - Feb 25, 2002
Families of the six victims killed in the 1993 attack at the World Trade Center will have a voice in the group formed after Sept. 11 to coordinate redevelopment of the trade center site and creation of a memorial to the victims. Relatives of the 1993 attack worried their loved ones were being forgotten, especially because the granite fountain memorial dedicated to the victims of the first attack was destroyed when the twin towers crumbled on Sept. 11. (Newsday)

Mayor Backs Giuliani Control of Relief Fund - Feb 22, 2002
Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday he saw no reason not to transfer control of the Twin Towers Fund to a private charity run by Rudy Giuliani, a move that some firefighters and victims' families now oppose. The mayor said he is confident Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who regulates charities, will resolve the matter in a way that meets Giuliani's wishes and the families' concerns. The families have complained that Giuliani packed the board with friends and plans to spend $1.2 million on employee salaries. (New York Daily News)

Police Officers' Widows Oppose Giuliani's Control Of Fund - Feb 21, 2002
The widows of 15 police officers killed at the World Trade Center threatened yesterday to take legal action to try to stop the Bloomberg administration from transferring control of the $160-million Twin Towers Fund to a private charity of the same name run by Rudolph W. Giuliani.The transfer must be approved in State Supreme Court before it can become final. (New York Times)

Attorney General Urges Watchdogs For Twin Towers Charity - Feb 21, 2002
Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has asked former Mayor Rudy Giuliani to make changes to the Twin Towers Fund, including adding a city appointee to the charity's board. Spitzer also wants Giuliani to subject the fund, which has recently come under criticism, to annual audits by the city Comptroller's Office and the Department of Investigation. (New York Post)

Seven 9/11 Families Sue Osama bin Laden - Feb 20, 2002
The families of seven victims of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center filed a class-action lawsuit today against Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda and the Taliban, as well as Iran and Iraq. "Our goal is simple," said Fiona Havlish, whose husband, Donald G. Havlish Jr., was killed when a hijacked airliner crashed into the south tower of the trade center. "We want to prevent all those responsible for our losses from ever inflicting such pain on others." (New York Times)

Health Care Coverage Running Out for Victims' Relatives - Feb 20, 2002
For the first time in their lives, middle- and upper-class families of Sept. 11 victims are scrambling to find affordable health care coverage as their benefits come to an end. Most companies devastated by the World Trade Center collapse provided health benefits to families of the dead for at least six months. Some were more generous, offering discounted or fully paid coverage to families for years. Spouses of city cops and firefighters killed in attacks get health insurance for life, with extended coverage of their children. The American Red Cross also is temporarily paying some insurance bills. (New York Daily News)

Victims' Families Want To Meet With Mayor - Feb 16, 2002
Families of more than a dozen police officers slain on Sept. 11 sent a letter to Mayor Bloomberg yesterday asking for an immediate meeting to discuss their fears about the Twin Towers Fund. The letter comes on the heels of another missive from cops' families concerned that the fund, which has raised $150 million, will become bogged down in administrative costs. Former Mayor Giuliani has been involved recently in a controversy over the amount of money to be paid to administrative staff overseeing the fund. (New York Post)

Families of Police Victims Trying To Stop Rudy's Plans for Twin Towers Fund - Feb 15, 2002
The families of 14 of the 23 police officers killed at the World Trade Center threw a roadblock Thursday in front of Rudolph GiulianiÕs plans for a staff of nearly a dozen people to administer his $100 million Twin Towers Fund. A lawyer representing the families, Edward Hayes, faxed Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly a letter Thursday voicing the groupÕs opinion that no bureaucracy of 11 staffers is needed to handle the funds. ÒMy clients feel that these generous donations are for their benefit and there is no need for any bureaucracy to make decisions for them,Ó HayesÕ letter said. (Newsday)

Giuliani Seeks To Take Over Twin Towers Fund - Feb 6, 2002
The city-run Twin Towers Fund has suspended payments to the families of dead firefighters, police officers and other uniformed heroes while a fledgling charity controlled by former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani attempts to take over the funds assets about $100 million and growing. The transfer, possibly unprecedented in nature, needs approval by Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. CUNY vice chancellor Frederick Schaffer, the chairman of the city-run charity, said the organization, called the New York City Public and Private Initiative, had planned from the outset to spin off the Twin Towers Fund. (Newsday)

Health Department Campaign Aims At Psychological Healing - Feb 3, 2002
Hand-scrawled posters that read like pages torn from a diary are promoting New York Needs Us Strong, a city Health Department campaign offering free crisis counseling for anyone feeling the strain of the World Trade Center attacks. The city program is part of Project Liberty, a state initiative funded by a $23 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The campaign refers people to LifeNet, a 24-hour hotline operated by the Mental Health Association of New York City. Although almost five months have elapsed since Sept. 11, the demand for psychological counseling services has continued to rise, experts say. LifeNet saw its calls double after Sept. 11. In December, the state started promoting the hotline in television and radio ads, and the number rose further: The hotline received 11,650 calls in December and January, compared with 5,300 a year earlier, said director John Draper. (Newsday)

CityÕs Medical Examiner Releases Names Of WTC Attack Victims - Jan 28, 2002
For the first time since Sept. 11, a city agency has released a list of people who remain missing after the attack on the World Trade Center. In an effort to solicit additional DNA samples, the New York medical examiner today published its list of those who have been reported missing but whose remains have not been identified. That list contains the names of 2,189 people at the towers, on the airplanes and the rescue workers at the scene. The medical examiner has identified the remains of 693 people, including 117 people who have been identified through DNA alone, according to Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the department. That brings the total of dead or missing compiled by the medical examiner to 2,882 victims. (Newsday)

Firefighters' Fund Gives $100M in Aid - Jan 21, 2002
By the end of last year, a fund created by the International Association of Fire Fighters had donated over $100 million to the 343 families of dead or missing firefighters. Each family received approximately $300,000. This rapid distribution of relief funds is in stark contrast to the debate over compensation for so-called "civilian" victims of September 11. (Newsday)

September 11 Kin To Meet Bush - Jan 21, 2002
A group of families of World Trade Center victims will be traveling to the White House tomorrow to witness President George Bush's signing of the Victims of Terrorism Tax Relief Act. In an effort to get the federal government on their side, they reportedly will urge the president to set aside the entire World Trade Center site for a memorial. (New York Post)

Fund Package Nearly Set to Aid Survivors of 9/11 - Jan 20, 2002
With the commenting period ending this week for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001, Kenneth Feinberg, appointed special master of the fund, will now spend the next few weeks finalizing a plan for compensation and distribution of the fund. Feinberg said the plan will be "based on equity, justice and need." (New York Daily News)

Victims Kin Slam Aid Fund - Jan 18, 2002
Over 600 people rallied yesterday at the Park Avenue Armory to protest the proposed distribution of the federal compensation to World Trade Center victims' relatives. The main point of the contention is the deduction of money received from 401(k) and life insurance benefits from the compensation. Furthermore, any relatives that accept compensation from the fund waive their right to sue the airlines and other possible defendants. Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg were present at the rally and pledged to fight for a more equitable compensation program. (New York Daily News)

Families Meet Privately With Overseer Of Sept. 11 Compensation - Jan 16, 2002
Relatives of the September 11 victims held a private meeting yesterday with Ken Feinberg, the federal Victim Compensation Fund Special Master. One person who attended the meeting said that Feinberg would not budge from the $250,000 cap on pain and suffering compensation, though he said he would do everything he could to maximize awards. Feinberg is accepting recommendations on how to change the rules until January 22. (NY1)

Representatives Seek Changes to Fund - Jan 14, 2002
A dozen members of Congress from New York on Monday urged changes in the proposed rules determining federal compensation for victims of the World Trade Center attacks. Carolyn Maloney, a Manhattan Democrat, and her colleagues urged the fund's overseer, Kenneth Feinberg, not to use outdated labor statistics which discriminate against women. (Newsday)

Clinton: WTC Fund Unfair - Jan 14, 2002
After meeting with loved ones of those killed September 11 in the World Trade Center, Senator Hillary Clinton called for changes to the proposed federal compensation plan. Clinton proposed a minimum compensation amount for families, rather than the current proposal which deducts money based on pre-existing life insurance, IRA, or 401(k) accounts. (Newsday)

Pataki: 'Serious Concerns' on WTC Fund - Jan 11, 2002
Governor Pataki voiced concern yesterday about the distribution of federal funds for the compensation of victims' families. Referring to estimates that the average family could receive $1.6 million, Pataki said the numbers are misleading. "The numbers sound very high," he said, "but they can be reduced by collateral sources," such as life insurance and pension payments. About 1,000 relatives of victims will be holding a rally next Thursday to urge changes in the compensation. (Newsday)

Fund Formula an Insult to Their Injuries - Jan 7, 2002
Four members of Congress and forty relatives of victims appeared at a news conference in midtown to denounce the compensation formula created by Kenneth Feinberg, the special master administering the federal Victim Compensation Fund. The families complained the formula sets arbitrary limits on estimated lost earnings and caps compensation for pain and suffering. Victims' families also met yesterday for the first time with Mayor Bloomberg since he took office. (New York Daily News)

Head of Fund Says Families Should State Their Cases - Dec 21, 2001
Faced with widespread protests that he has been stingy, Kenneth R. Feinberg, the special master of the federal fund for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, urged disappointed families yesterday to seek a hearing to argue for larger compensation awards. (New York Times)

Painful Issue: Putting A Value On 9/11 Victims - Dec 16, 2001
The government and the courts will soon be putting a value on the lives of those who perished in September 11, and the disparities are sure to be upsetting to some families. The life of a Wall Street trader will be worth more than that of a security guard. The federal fund handling compensation is expected to announce its rules for payments on Friday. (New York Post)

As Sept. 11 Widows Unite, Grief Finds Political Voice - Nov 25, 2001
Relatives of the victims of September 11 have formed a potent political force that no city official wishes to offend. The group, known as the widows because many had husbands who were firefighters who were killed, reversed a cutback in the number of firefighters at the Trade Center site, got criminal charges dropped against all but one of the 18 off-duty firefighters who recently scuffled with police officers at Ground Zero and pressured the Giuliani administration to order that rescuers searching for bodies take no Thanksgiving Day break. (New York Times)