Open Letter to President Obama on the Creation of a 9/11-Like Victim's Compensation Fund for BP Oil Spill

Jun 15, 2010, 13:32 ET from 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism

WASHINGTON, June 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being released by 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism:

June 15, 2010

The President

The White House

Washington, D.C.  20500

Dear Mr. President:

My name is Joan Molinaro and my son Carl E. Molinaro, age 32, was a New York firefighter and member of Ladder Co. 2. He was last glimpsed helping survivors to escape from the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Carl was smart, funny, strong, and loved his family – his wife, children, siblings and parents – and his job.

You have described the psychological impact of the BP oil spill as having a similar long-term impact on the nation's psyche that the terrorist attacks of September 11th did.   Human lives were lost in both cases.  As a mother, my heart goes out to all the family members who have lost a loved one in this tragedy.

As you contemplate the creation of a fund for BP to use to repay the damages of the loss of life, property, and people's livelihoods, I ask you to think of all those involved, especially the mothers.  When the Victims Compensation Fund was created, I was told not to bother submitting a request because I was "only the mother" and my son had a wife.  I did not care about the money.  However, I did feel as though my loss was being dismissed out of hand.  Nothing could have hurt me more at that time, and today, than to feel as though my loss was inconsequential.  

So while you are asking BP to fund this account, remember a couple of things please.  Everyone is suffering – do not exclude some damages because they seem small or because someone's loss seems trivial compared to others.  Make sure the process is well funded.  Make it transparent and make it work fast.  Repeated paper work will save no one's business, lives, or communities.  

Most importantly, do not close off access to the courts.  I have been a part of a group of over 5,000 family members and victims pursuing the financiers of the 9/11 attacks.  We have learned much, and we are awaiting our day in court.

Mr. President, please make this process more open, faster, and more accurate in assessing people's losses than the last time.  These people, and the nation's psyche, do not need that memory as well.


Joan Molinaro

Mother of Carl E. Molinaro; FDNY

SOURCE 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism