In the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks, Mary Fetchet and Beverly Eckert begin a grass-roots organization, later known as Voices of September 11th, to provide a clearinghouse of information and support for all those impacted.
VOICES opens its first office in New Canaan, CT and hires social workers to provide clinical support. On September 10th, the organization hosts its first annual Information Forum and September 11th Commemorative luncheon at the Marriott Downtown Hotel in New York City. Together with other members of the 9/11 Family Steering Committee, Mary Fetchet and Beverly Eckert demand a congressional joint inquiry into intelligence failures that led to the terrorist attacks.
VOICES receives non-profit status and co-hosts a workshop with Imagine New York about plans for a Memorial to the 9/11 victims. Mary Fetchet testifies before the Commissioners for the 9/11 Independent Commission.
Over 1,600 family members attend the VOICES Information Forum and Luncheon in September, providing an opportunity for 9/11 families from around the world to gather together and access information. VOICES partners with the Department of Homeland Security and the American Red Cross to promote September as National Preparedness Month. Mary Fetchet testifies before the U.S. Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.
Mary Fetchet, along with other 9/11 family members, testifies at the Homeland Security hearings. "Friendship bears" are presented by VOICES to Russian Ambassador Yuri Ushakov for the family members of the victims of the Breslin School attacks in Russia. VOICES holds a Holiday Interfaith Service at St. Paul's Chapel.
An announcement is made that VOICES will launch the 9/11 Living Memorial Project, an online digital archive chronicling the lives lost on 9/11 and documenting the stories. Mary Fetchet testifies on Capitol Hill about the effectiveness of the measures recommended by the 9/11 Commission.
VOICES staff begins meeting with family members to collect photographs for the 9/11 Living Memorial Project. Mary Fetchet testifies before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. The annual Information Forum includes a presentation by New York Times journalist, Janny Scott, about her experience writing the Portraits of Grief tributes.
The annual Information Forum features President Bill Clinton, who speaks on the progress on Homeland Security over the last seven years and the global threats that still remain. VOICES hosts its first annual Always Remember Gala, with Brian Williams serving as Master of Ceremonies.
VOICES and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum announce a formal collaboration to incorporate the 9/11 Living Memorial Project into the museum. President Bill Clinton is keynote speaker and Jon Bon Jovi entertains at 2nd Annual Always Remember Gala. Co-Founder Beverly Eckert perishes in the airline crash of Continental Flight 3407 in Buffalo, NY. VOICES opens its New Brunswick, NJ office, with Governor Thomas Kean and other dignitaries in attendance.
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is keynote speaker at VOICES 3rd Annual Always Remember Gala and meets privately with 9/11 families. VOICES co-hosts a conference with Rutgers University School of Social Work on "Lessons Learned from the Aftermath of 9/11." VOICES rings the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange on September 10th.
VOICES co-sponsors the 9/11 Tenth Anniversary Summit, "Remembrance, Renewal and Resilience," with the Center for National Policy at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. VOICES holds September 10th Information Forums and September 11th Commemorative Luncheons in Washington, DC and New York City. Keynote speakers in New York City are Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
With funding received from the U.S. Department of Justice, VOICES continues a two-year research project to document best practices that will educate professionals, service providers and communities impacted by acts of mass violence or natural disasters. VOICES staff travels to Oklahoma City, Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois University and Tucson, AZ to conduct interviews with key stakeholders.
VOICES announces the establishment of the Center of Excellence for Community Resilience to share lessons learned and promote healing in the lives of those impacted by disasters. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is keynote speaker for the 6th Annual Always Remember Gala, and New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is presented with VOICES Building Bridges Award. Mary Fetchet inducted into the Hall of Fame at Columbia School of Social Work.
VOICES is awarded a 2-year contract from the CDC to promote services available through the World Trade Center Health Program for 9/11 responders and survivors. "Preparing for After" Resource Kit is released to share lessons learned with communities preparing for and responding to acts of mass violence. Governor Thomas Kean and Senator Joseph Lieberman present keynote conversation at the 7th Annual Always Remember Gala, moderated by CBS correspondent Norah O'Donnell.
VOICES launches new Living Memorial website. With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, VOICES begins to develop curriculum and training based on "Preparing for After" Resource Kit findings. In partnership with the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress and the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime, VOICES conducts research project, "Investigating the Long-Term Impact of Bereavement Due to Terrorism: Factors That Contribute to Trauma, Grief, Growth and Resilience." Funded in part by the Canadian government, the study will examine the long-term mental health needs of victims' families. FBI Director James Comey is keynote speaker at the 8th Annual Always Remember Gala, and former FBI Director Robert Mueller receives VOICES Building Bridges Award. CBS Correspondent Lesley Stahl serves as emcee.
VOICES publishes VOICES of Experience: Helping Communities Heal After Traumatic Events, a two-day training program made possible with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The organization hosts its annual New Jersey Resiliency Symposium, as well as three events to commemorate the milestone 15th Anniversary. Charles R. Figley Ph.D. is keynote speaker at VOICES September 9th Symposium in New York City. The results from VOICES research project, "Investigating the Long-Term Impact of Bereavement Due to Terrorism: Factors that Contribute to Trauma, Grief, Growth and Resilience" are presented to family members at the 15th Annual Day of Remembrance Information Forum in New York City. VOICES partners with Grace Farms Foundation in New Canaan, CT to present "Remembrance, Renewal, Resilience," a public discourse initiative to commemorate the 15th Anniversary.