My name is Mary Fetchet, and I am here with my husband Frank. I want to thank Senator Blumenthal for inviting us today to talk about a topic that is near and dear to our hearts. On 9/11, our 24 year old son Brad died when a commercial airline commandeered by terrorists was flown into the south tower of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. Brad was one of the 2,977 innocent citizens that were senselessly killed that day. In response to our loss, I founded Voices of September 11th, using my professional skills as a social worker to create an organization that provides long-term support services for families, responders and survivors, and to assist communities impacted by other traumatic events, many of whom are still suffering the consequences of a traumatic loss. I worked with other families to push for the 9/11 Commission, and I am here today to support Senator Blumenthal's effort to call on the House of Representatives to pass JASTA so that all Americans can feel confident that those who are funding terrorist acts are held accountable.
This afternoon, the House Intelligence Committee released the now-declassified 28 pages from the 2002 official report, Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001. Over the years, many 9/11 family members and lawmakers have worked tirelessly to advocate for this information to be made available to the American public.
This morning the deadliest shooting in U.S. history occurred at a night club in Orlando, Florida. Recognizing that our membership resides around the country and abroad, we want to provide information in case you may have a loved one that was impacted by this tragic event.
This Monday, May 30 marks the 148th observance of Memorial Day, where we honor and remember the brave men and women who have lost their lives while serving in our military. Since September 11, 2001, more than 2.5 million service members have been deployed to the Middle East, and thousands have given their lives in the line of duty. Their dedication to serving our country continues to ensure the protection of our freedoms as American citizens, and this weekend is a time to honor their lives and pay tribute to their unwavering commitment.
On Wednesday, April 6, 2016, VOICES hosted our New Jersey Symposium, "Promoting Resiliency in Communities Impacted by Trauma." The event featured presentations by accomplished subject matter experts and clinicians working in the fields of trauma, grief and disaster mental health.