“911 Memorial” Dedication

911 Obama

Happy Friday, y’all!

I can’t do anything else today except T.G.I.F.!!! What about you? What a week!!

Thursday, yesterday, the moment that many of us, especially New Yorkers, have been waiting for arrived. It was the dedication ceremony for the “911 Memorial and Museum” in New York City in the exact same spot that the Twin Towers once stood. It also demonstrates that terrorism doesn’t ruin the spirit of Americans to regroup and rebuild … and remember. I believe one of the most solemn moments must have been when the woman, a “911 widow”, sang amazing grace.

It was uplifting to see people from all walks of life come together in memory of the thousands of innocent victims who lost their lives as well as the first responders, fire persons and police officers many of whom lost their lives trying to save those who were trapped in the two buildings there. It was also very good to see our president, Barack Obama, present for the ceremony.

Memories swirled in my head, it was my 25th Anniversary of graduation from Princeton University when me and my Romanian mate traveled to New York to rent a car and drive to Princeton. She had never seen New York City before and I had promised her that we would take some time before the Anniversary Celebrations of Class of ’76 were to begin on the campus to drive around the City with the Chrysler 300M we had rented at LaGuardia Airport. We went up near Bear Mountain and then headed South into NYC’s SoHo, Greenwich Village after visiting Park Ave and 42nd Street. Of course, she wanted to see the United Nations and The World Trade Center, and … we did! It was in June, four months before the devastation of the historic world landmark was to be staged by terrorists who had actually stayed, had eaten and “partied” in Hollywood, FL before boarding their plane to New York City at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. They had also previously attended a pilot training school here in Florida and had gotten some valuable experience and training to carry out their dastardly deeds. The memory stays alive for me as I have a photograph taken with a cross between the two Towers taken by a photographer who wanted to capture that particular image.

Condolences to the family members of those killed as well as who survived … and suffered with lung disorders and other physical ailments that have impaired their lives. May we all be grateful … and try to learn to live in peace!

Namaste,

John I. Cook, Director

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