It was a quiet President and a small group of White House officials who came back to Ground Zero today after first stopping at the Fire House where 15 firemen were lost. He then moved on to the site where Ground Zero has changed a lot since most of us last saw it. There are trees planted and buildings rising and the whole feeling is serene. Those who were invited guests were the families who lost a parent, or a sibling, or other family member and some members of the New York political delegation.
I thought right away of Bobby Valentine, now back home in Stamford, who didn’t waste much time turning Shea Stadium into a loading ground for badly needed supplies, and he recruited several local Mets players to assist him. He worked night and day – we knew because we heard all the news on WFAN which became a factor and an information station for the burning site. Apparently all those who worked round the clock would listen to fans who called the station with questions – like what can we do to help, and what do you need there, Often a call would come into the station from Ground Zero with information from someone working there. We were a true community.
How different the site looked today – almost complete. The President was truly gracious and stopped to speak to all who were there, particularly the children. He spoke to one teenager who had a locket around her neck with a picture of her Mom. I think we forget that most of the people lost were parents. These were working men and women in the two buildings of the World Trade Center, who had families at home, the other group were the firemen who ran up the stairs hoping to quench the fire, but couldn’t.
It was a solemn day – filled with memories of the people of the Greater New York area who were lost, just because they went to work that day.