2002-10-19 / Community

Children’s Responses To 9/11 Published

Children’s Responses To 9/11 Published

First Lady Libby Pataki has announced the release of her third book for children, entitled "Letters to New York: Children Speak Out."

The First Lady distributed free copies of the book – which includes nearly one hundred letters and drawings from children all over New York, America and the world. All of the letters and drawings were sent to Governor George E. Pataki or the New York State World Trade Center Relief Fund in the wake of the September 11, 2001 tragedies.

"In the weeks and months that followed the attacks on the World Trade Center, I received thousands of letters from children all over the world," Governor Pataki said. "These children helped give Libby and I hope during our darkest hour. They reminded us that even though we had lost so much, we had so much spirit, strength and compassion."

First Lady Libby Pataki said, "I was deeply moved by all of the letters and pictures that the children sent. While many adults were shocked by the events of September 11 to speak about them, our children put into words their thoughts, fears and hopes. I put this book together to inspire children and adults alike."

New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Arthur J. Roth said, "Our Department suffered the devastating loss of 40 of our co-workers as a result of the terrorist attacks of the World Trade Center. We feel privileged that Governor Pataki selected us to administer the New York State World Trade Center Relief Fund, which has distributed nearly $60 million in generous donations from around the world to nearly 2,500 families of those killed in September 11 attacks. The touching letters from children, which accompanied many of the donations, were invaluable in the healing process for the entire Tax Department family."

Mary Ellen McCormack, whose daughter Brianna contributed to the book said, "My daughter Brianna was very much aware of the tragedy and wanted to help out in any way she could. She worked with her classmates raising money, writing letters, and taping a video for the rescue workers. She sent a letter to the Governor to tell him how she felt. I am so proud of the way that she has responded. It comforts me to know that our future will be in the hands of these children that showed so much love, compassion and hope during this time of tragedy."

Mary Ellen McCormack is an employee of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. She has worked on the World Trade Center Relief Fund since last September. Her daughter Brianna’s letter, like the ninety-four other letters, were chosen at random.

Over the past year Mrs. Pataki collected and edited the letters and artwork in her book with Wilson Kimball. The First Lady and Ms. Kimball have collaborated on two previous books for children, "Artfully Tonight," a book featuring the Empire State Art Collection and "NYC ABC," a tourism guide which celebrates settings, icons and artwork from museums and other cultural institutions in New York City’s five boroughs.

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