The four stay-at-home moms who lived relatively carefree lives in suburban Monmouth County became some of the most visible faces of the families of the dead and their main cause at the time: pushing the federal government to study the attacks — whether there was intelligence that could have prevented them, and whether the response once they began was adequate.
For a long time, the Jersey girls were among the most outspoken people on the attacks. The four banded together and, in the face of official intransigence, campaigned with other victims’ relatives to set up the 9/11 commission. They later pressured it to conduct a credible investigation. Looking back, however, both Breitweiser and Van Auken believe their huge battle to get the commission up and running left too much undone. After fighting so hard to get it set up, they became some of its fiercest critics.