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.
I hope this note finds you well and enjoying the last days of summer! Our staff has been busy finalizing plans for our 13th Annual Day of Remembrance Information Forum. The theme of this year's conference is "Promoting Resilience, Healing Families and Communities," and we are excited to share the schedule with you today. As you'll see, we've planned a program that provides information for everyone- 9/11 families, responders, survivors and service providers.
Three weeks ago, Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed over Hrabove, Ukraine. Believed to have been shot down by pro-Russian separatists, the deaths of the 283 passengers and 15 crew members makes the incident the sixth deadliest air disaster in history.
What began as an isolated struggle over the Crimean region in Ukraine has now affected nations from around the world: 193 Dutch nationals, 43 Malaysians (including the 15 crewmembers), 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians, 10 Britons, four Germans, four Belgians, three Filipinos, one Canadian and one New Zealander perished in flight.
Last Monday, the VOICES summer interns journeyed into the city to visit the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. As the college interns of the group, we were in second grade at the time of the attacks. Immersed in the images and audio of the exhibitions, we heard the first-hand accounts of victims, first-responders, and survivors. The experience will forever be ingrained in our minds, as the museum exposed the gravity of September 11 that we did not fully comprehend from the shelter of our elementary school classrooms.
This weekend, Mary Taylor, Ryan Callahan, Grace Elliott and I travelled up to Brattleboro, VT with Mr. Fetchet to spend two days at the Jerusalem Peacebuilders Leadership Camp. While we only arrived in the final days of their session, the Israeli, Palestinian, and American teens welcomed us into their close-knit group and generously shared their experiences from the previous ten days.