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Post-9/11 Family Foundation Helps Terror and Trauma Victims

The parents of Peter Alderman, a 25-year-old victim of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, have developed a foundation to provide mental health services to international victims of violence. They discuss their efforts to honor their son's memory with Gwen Ifill.

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    Peter C. Alderman was attending a technology conference on the 106th floor of the World Trade Center's north tower on September 11, 2001. He was only 25 years old when he was killed.

    A year later, his family, searching for a way to honor Peter's memory, used the $1.4 million they received from the 9/11 victims' compensation fund to launch a foundation. It was one of the more than 300 foundations that sprang up after the 9/11 attacks.

    Inspired by a segment she saw on ABC's "Nightline," Peter's mother, Liz, and her husband, Stephen, contacted Harvard University psychiatrist Richard Mollica, who specializes in the psychological and emotional trauma brought on by violence.

    DR. RICHARD C. MOLLICA, Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma: The family called me up, and they said, "What can we do? What can we do to make a difference for other people who have been through the experience of violence? Because we're so upset and so shocked by the loss of our child, our young boy."

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The Aldermans sent out to provide mental health care for the approximately one billion people all over the world who have experienced torture, terrorism or mass violence. Since 2003, the foundation has trained 35 doctors from 12 countries and opened mental health clinics in Cambodia and Uganda.

    As of last year, only about 10 percent of the charitable groups established after 9/11 were still operating, but the Aldermans' work continues.