An Open Letter to Members of the 108th Congress
on the 9/11 Bill Conference Report
December 9, 2004
Dear Members of Congress:
You have at last reached consensus on a bill that will implement the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations. We believe this conference report accomplishes our main goal, which was to fix our nation’s broken intelligence system.
The passage of these reforms marks a critical point in a long, three-year journey. We started as a diverse group of 12 individuals representing a number of 9/11 family groups who shared a common loss. Our goal was to make our country safer. Although at times our resolve was sorely tested, the 12 of us have remained steadfast refusing to ever give up.
Having reached this critical junction, we want to acknowledge the many individuals who have helped us. We thank all of the Members of Congress who voted for the establishment of an independent 9/11 Commission. We thank the ten 9/11 Commissioners who acted in a truly bipartisan manner and produced a report whose 41 recommendations became a roadmap for today’s Conference Report.
We would also like to thank the individuals who have made this week’s vote possible. In particular, we want to acknowledge the leadership of President Bush, Speaker Hastert, Leader Pelosi, Majority Leader Frist and Minority Leader Daschle. We would also like to acknowledge the efforts of the Conference Chairman, Pete Hoekstra as well as the other principal conferees Susan Collins, Jane Harman and Joseph Lieberman. Finally, we would like acknowledge the hard work of the 9/11 Commission Caucus led by Congressman Christopher Shays and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.
While we thank you for your work on this historic legislation, we must keep in mind that more work needs to be done. One critical issue is reorganizing Congress so our intelligence agencies will have the oversight required to ensure it is doing its job. We look forward to working with you in the 109th Congress, to help enact the remaining recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Report, and to make our country as safe as possible for this generation and generations to come.
Carol Ashley, mother of Janice Ashley, 25
Kristen Breitweiser, wife of Ronald Breitweiser, 39
Patty Casazza, wife of John F. Casazza, 38
Beverly Eckert, wife of Sean Rooney
Mary Fetchet, mother of Bradley James Fetchet, 24
Monica Gabrielle, wife of Richard Gabrielle
Bill Harvey, husband of Sara Manley Harvey, 31
Mindy Kleinberg, wife of Alan Kleinberg, 39
Carie Lemack, daughter of Judy Larocque
Sally Regenhard, mother of Christian Michael Otto Regenhard, 28
Lorie Van Auken, wife of Kenneth Van Auken, 47
Robin Wiener, sister of Jeffrey Wiener, 33