Just a small note of appreciation to Mary and all at VOICES who present and host the annual conference in Manhattan on September 10th at the Marriott. My wife, Kathleen, and I have attended the conference since it's inception and we anxiously look forward to attending again this year.
Our daughter, Andrea, was murdered with so many others that fateful day. Andrea lived in Illinois, but grew up where we live in Wisconsin. She knew no one in New York, nor did we. Early on in this shared journey of all of ours, Kathy and I felt very isolated - being so far away from New York and getting information either late or not at all. Throughout these years, the VOICES conference has allowed my wife and I to connect with many other families who like us were desperately seeking information.
When we attended the first VOICES conference, we did not know what to expect, however what we found was a healing connection that needed no words. It was the first time we did not have to explain how we felt to people! I remember what a relief that was. We all were in the same situation. Many of the families we have met through VOICES are now good friends of ours.
The conferences and the informed relevant speakers at the various forums have provided us with relevant and accurate information. The question and answer forums have provided important information and perspectives we had not even thought about.
Together, in one place, we found what we had most needed. Current accurate answers to questions foremost in our minds - whether that be from Medical Examiner office updates, the 9/11 Commission member speakers, up to last years presentation on what to expect in the recently opened museum. As I review in my memory the forums presented and the relevant topics presented through the years, the list seems endless.
Equally as important, we have been connected with people who have helped heal the hole in our hearts. Always at the conference are those who understand and assist in soothing that wound. As we journey back to Wisconsin, albeit with heavy hearts, it is comforting to know that the VOICES organization and Mary and her staff are just a phone call away with answers, information and kind words.
Thank you...we look forward to seeing you in September!