911 widow speaks in rockland
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9/11 widow speaks in Rockland
ROCKLAND (April 28): Ellen Mariani was flying to California for her daughter's wedding on Sept. 11, 2001.
Her husband, Neil, was on a flight two hours after her. That flight was United Airlines 175, which crashed into the World Trade Center.
Ellen was at her stopover in Chicago when she found out her husband's plane had been hijacked. She didn't find out until the following morning that he was dead.
Mariani, from Derry, N.H., spoke in Rockland Tuesday at St. Peter's Episcopal Church about her fight to gain truth from her government about what happened before and after 9/11.
She believes President George W. Bush "intentionally allowed 9/11 to happen to gather public support for a war on terrorism," a statement she made in an open letter to the president.
"I never wrote in my life," said Mariani. "My heart is broken but my hand isn't."
Mariani has sued the president and members of his administration under the civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act. She filed the action on Nov. 26.
The RICO act was passed in 1968 as a way of combating organized crime, specifically the Mafia.
In her speech, Mariani used red flags to signify all the times that she felt misled, lied to, or treated unfairly or unkindly. She raised a red flag at United Airlines because of its poor treatment of her and the handling of her vulnerable situation.
"I put the lawsuit in because I wanted to face United Airlines in court because of my husband's death," said Mariani. "I want answers; I want to know why he didn't get to his destination safely. I was treated unfairly and rudely."
She raised a red flag at her past lawyers who wanted a cut from her victim compensation fund eligiibility. Mariani signed papers with her first attorney soon after the 9/11 attacks.
"I went back to look at what I signed," said Mariani. "My attorney took my power of attorney over me."
Finally, she raised several red flags at the government for the following list, all stated in her open letter to the president:
* Why were 29 pages of the 9/11 committee report personally censored at your request?
* Where are the "black boxes" from Flight 11 and Flight 175?
* Where are the "voice recorders" from Flight 11 and Flight 175?
* Why can't we gain access to the complete air traffic control records for Flight 11 and Flight 175?
* Where are the airport surveillance tapes that show the passengers boarding the doomed flights?
* When will the complete passenger lists for all flights be released?
Mariani's husband didn't have a will, and was unemployed at the time of his death and lacked health insurance. She is living off social security and had to sell her house, but declined to take any money from the 9/11 victims' compensation fund.
"I have reported to the world that I am going to eat dirt before I take that fund," said Mariani, who is originally from Maine. "I'm from Maine and I mean business."