Our Voices: Message from the Director
VOICES hosted our Annual Resiliency Symposium and Information Forum on September 9 and 10 in New York City. The two-day event included presentations, panel discussion and workshops by leading experts who shared their expertise along with updates on available resources. This year we were honored to have a delegation from Canada in attendance, along with representatives from organizations working in the United States and abroad.
The US Senate voted 97-2 in favor of the Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act, joining the House of Representatives in supporting legislation that will provide compensation for responders and survivorswho are suffering and dying from life-threatening illnesses due to their exposure to toxins in the aftermath of the attacks.
It is with deep sorrow that we regret to inform you that our dear friend and leader, Kurt Wolfgruber, passed away peacefully this morning following a brief, but serious illness. For over a decade Kurt served as Chairman of the Board at Voices of September 11th, with dedication and commitment to ensuring that all those impacted by 9/11 and other tragedies have the support they need to heal.
The heartbreaking news of the recent suicides of two Parkland students and the father of a child who was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting is a sobering reminder of the profound long-term impact these tragedies have on families, survivors, and the community-at-large.
Responders and survivors stricken with 9/11-related illnesses need our help. In the days and months following the attacks, over 90,000 responders who worked in the recovery effort and 400,000 survivors who lived, worked, or went to school in the area were exposed to toxins in Lower Manhattan. Today over 40,000 are in treatment for life-threatening illnesses, including over 100 cancers.