Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. This is a time of year that we reflect back upon the many blessings we have received and are grateful.
Thinking back on the year past, I can’t help thinking about my many friends and the many new ones that I have met or heard from.
I’m grateful for my friends and of course for my family. I’m thankful that my Mom and Dad brought my sister and I into a wonderful community and gave us a very meaningful childhoood with good family values as well as a love of our country and its people.
I think of my Grandma and Grandpa and the life they had coming to this great country of ours. I think of how they raised their children to be respectful, honest and hardworking even during the difficult times.
I am grateful that I have been able to do the things that I have done. I like to think I have motivated others to do the same.
I’m grateful to have had the pleasure to speak to so many of our Military Men and Women. They will be in my thoughts tomorrow.
We all have a special gift to give, make sure to share yours.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving,

Lee

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veteran's Day Tribute


Hi all,
This morning I was filled with American pride to speak before over 1,500 students who are here in New York City taking part in Veteran’s Day. "The Band of Pride Tribute" concert led by Dr .Kenneth Dye, musical director of The University of Notre Dame took place from 7:30am-9am on Thursday, November 10th at Duffy Square in the heart of New York City's Times Square, as a way to jump start the day of remembrance and patriotism. Many of the students who performed will proudly march, on Veteran's Day, in the 92nd NYC Veterans Day Parade along its historic Fifth Avenue Route in New York City.

This morning I shared with them how easy for me to turn to hatred in response to my son Jonathan being killed on 9/11, but I don’t even like the word ‘hatred’. I like the words ‘education’ and ‘enlightenment’. We need to provide education about 9/11 for all young people so they can learn what happened on 9/11 and how to make tomorrow a better day. I think we should not be afraid to talk about radical Islamic fundamentalists and we should understand that they do not represent the millions of Muslim people around the world who do not support acts of terrorism. Tomorrow on Veteran’s Day when you step off and play your first note on your instruments, play it loud and the best you have ever played - many will be listening like these behind me in uniform, and those who are deployed around the world, those who have been wounded and for those who are no longer here with us so they can hear you to.

God bless you, God Bless our men and women in uniform and yes God Bless America.
Lee

Friday, October 21, 2011

9/11: The World Speaks

Hi all,
Many good things have happened this year, and I want to share with you one that I am most proud of being a small part. At the Tribute Center we published a book, 9/11: The World Speaks. It provides a very hopeful look at the state of the world 10 years after September 11, 2001. The book is hopeful because it contains heartfelt messages from people in countries large and small of a desire to teach young people about the essential value of mutual respect among cultures and religions. Ordinary people, expressing their thoughts and feelings in words, drawings and verse, challenge us to find successful ways to live together on this small planet.

The book 9/11: The World Speaks came about from our collection of visitor cards left at the Tribute WTC Visitor Center by visitors from around the world over the past 5 year. Before visitors leave our galleries, they are offered the opportunity to share their stories and reflections. We have been surprised by the honesty and sentiment in the more than 200,000 cards collected to date and wanted to share some of them with the public. I was motivated by a teacher this week who told me that she has shared the book with her students as a way to undersand other cultures and perspectives of 9/11. Here is a review of the book that was recently posted on Amazon’s website. Please share your thoughts with us also.

Be well,
Lee

"9-11: The World Speaks" brings together global voices and perspectives on the tragedy of September 11, 2001 and helps us understand the events of that day, and its complex aftermath, on a human scale. It is more than a thoughtful collection of reactions to tragedy, however. Instead, "The World Speaks" is a collective meditation on our shared humanity, a tribute to the power of hope, and a call to find the good in each other and ourselves.
-- Mike Dillon, Ph.D., Duquesne University

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Thank You!

Hi all,

We at Tribute thought that the Tenth Anniversary year would be very busy for us, but we never expected just how busy it would really be. We are deeply grateful to the reporters from all over the world who came and interviewed us and encouraged us to tell our stories. The stories we told were not just stories of our horrible experiences 10 years ago, but stories of the way we have been inspired to live better lives because of our experiences. We talked about the Tribute WTC Visitor Center providing all of us with a place where we can connect one-on-one with people who come from every corner of the globe to express their empathy and to tell us they tell their children that we need to live respectfully with each other whatever our differences may be. We told reporters about our commitment to encouraging teachers to teach 9/11 in their classrooms, and how pleased we are that educators are recognizing the importance of teaching 9/11 to a generation has no memory of the attacks. We proudly introduced reporters to our volunteer guides (over 480 trained) who share their personal stories of 9/11 with both students and adults who are coming to the World Trade Center on a daily basis.

I am so grateful to our volunteers for their dedication to keeping the stories of 9/11 alive. I’d like to share this quote that expresses exactly what I feel:

"There is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer. With it beats the spirit of service, generosity and compassion and the health and well being of our community, our country and our would." ~ Kobi Yamada

I urge you all to think about ways you can help make a difference.

Lee

Friday, March 25, 2011

Remembering the Devastation in Japan

Hello my good friends,

I have been very moved and saddened by the unbelievable scenes from Japan in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and Tsunami. The loss of life is staggering. Although it is difficult, we should try to learn and draw strength from the good that comes after a disaster. What has inspired me, and what we all should be looking to and learning from, is the willpower of the Japanese people to persevere in the face of such a catastrophic loss of life.
I would like to share an email from a good friend who also lost his son on 9/11. My heartfelt prayers go out to him and his family and to all the people of Japan as they begin the long journey of recovery and rebuilding. May they have the strength and support from around the world as we received after 9/11.

Dear Meriam, Jennifer, Lee.
Thank you for your e-mail. The earthquake brought some effect for us, but generally say we are well. About our family, our younger son are living in Fukushima city, not far from the nuclear power station. His wife and girl, our grand daughter, are came and stayed with wife's family in Tokyo, but he returned to Fukushima city. The power station being continued to suppress in very critical condition.
Almost 9.11 families living west area from Tokyo, but one family are living Ibaraki prefecture, next to Fukushima pref. so I confirmed by call that they are well.
About quake and tsunami disaster, north east coast of Japan were utterly destroyed. All cities and towns are lost perfectly, in spite of their preparedness for tsunami.
At present about 10,000 persons are confirmed dead and about 20,000 are missing.
The disaster occur very broad area and damages are so big. It's recall me the situation after 2nd World War. But we, especially Tohoku people, will overcome like the after war we did so.
If you would like to donate to support the victims of the earthquake and tsunami allow me to recommend two places:

Japan Earthquake Relief Fund

“Japan Society has created a disaster relief fund to aid victims of the Tohoku earthquake in Japan. Over the years, Japan Society has partnered with several Japanese and American non-profits working on the frontlines of disaster relief and recovery. 100% of your generous tax-deductible contributions will go to organization(s) that directly help victims recover from the devastating effects of the earthquake and tsunamis that struck Japan on March 11, 2011.” Their web-site is http://www.japansociety.org/earthquake.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF)
MSF Response to Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami
“MSF has sent medical teams to support the government-led earthquake and tsunami response in Japan. Our teams are running mobile clinics and conducting needs assessments, which will determine the full scope of MSF's response.” “At this point, MSF USA is drawing on unrestricted donations given to MSF to fund our efforts, and MSF USA is not accepting donations specifically earmarked for recovery efforts in Japan. We greatly appreciate your generosity and encourage your support of our work. We will continue to post updates our homepage, Facebook, andTwitter as new information becomes available.” Their web-site is http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/donate/overview.cfm?ref=main-menu

Be well,
Lee

P.S. Please remember our men and women in uniform.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Seventh Anniversary of the Madrid Train Bombings

Hi all,

Today, March 11, 2011, marks the 7th Anniversary of the 2004 Madrid train bombings on passenger trains approaching the Atocha Train Station that killed 192 innocent people and wounded 1,800. Ten explosions occurred on 4 commuter trains during the morning rush hours. Three more bombs were found later in the day. Demolition teams detonated 2 of them and the last one was found in a luggage compartment.

The September 11th Families' Association/Tribute Visitor Center sends our support and condolences to the victims and their families' of this vicious attack. A senseless attack on innocent civilians must never be forgotten or tolerated.

Lee

Friday, February 18, 2011

Looking Foward to Spring

Hi all,

Well I guess we are all looking forward to a long weekend. President's Day of course means looking back at our passed presidents and saying “Thank You For A Job Well Done.” Also, on Friday, February 25, we will be having our Fourth Annual Teacher Awards at the Tribute Center, where five teachers from Jamaica, Queens; Goshen, NY; Great Neck, Long Island; Ulster County, NY; and Baltimore, Maryland will be awarded a gift and certificate for their 9/11-related school project. And while you're at it, take a look at our teacher's toolkit resource guide on our website, http://www.tributewtc.org/programs/toolkit.html .

It also means that spring is just around the corner. We can start to plant some cold weather vegies in March. I can’t wait for the Striped Bass to come back in March as well.

Something even more important is happening. School groups are now scheduling tours for the Tribute Center and walking tours. I just love talking to them and so do our guides. For the last week or so, we are seeing 2,3,4, groups every day and the list just gets longer every week. If you would like to get involved with some, give us a call or see our web-site, http://www.tributetwc.org/ for more details.

Lastly, I have a number of other great things that I want to tell you about. I hope to have more time to write about them soon.

Have a GREAT weekend and remember those Presidents, and our troops,

Lee