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Lisa Frost, 22, of Rancho Santa Margarita, a neighbor, was on United flight 175 from Boston, coming back home after graduating college. My sister, Holly, created this beautiful bouquet of flowers for the memorial service for Lisa. I brought them to her house and met Lisa's mom. It was a heart wrenching moment. With the flowers, were cards and letters from our community. She told me the encouragement really helped. I knew at that moment I needed to get to New York and if anything, just to give out hugs from California.
THE CHAPEL BECOMES A SPECIAL PLACE
My friend, Mary, who came in from California to live in NYC to run the center.
My friend Gloria - Hundreds of Teddy Bears were delivered to the center from all over the world to hand out to anyone who entered our doors.
The hungry enjoyed delicious hot meals, three times a day, prepared by Nino's restaurant. Many cards and letters from around the world decorated the center. Our favorites were the things children made.
My Heroes of Ground Zero
Such fond memories of the connections I made during my trips. Mike and Jr. worked for Local 731. I recently found Mike on FB, as I had his last name. I have lost connection with so many these past ten years. I am sure if FB had been around, we could have kept in touch in an easier way.
Mike gave me a hard hat signed by the guys. They were so appreciative of our center, they wanted a way to say thank you and this is one of the ways. I'll cherish it forever.
Mike sent this note to our church. We past out these cards I made to many with notes from the kids from our church.
Officer's on Christmas Eve, a special time. I got to know Erin. She not only was with the NYPD, but also with the NYFD. She is an amazing gal and so wish I hadn't lost touch with her. For some reason I didn't record her last name. Here is a note from her after this Christmas 2001 trip. Notes like this kept encouraging me to return to ground zero. We all really just need love and care from one another, especially when our hearts are crushed, trying to make sense of happenings sometimes.
Officer Ron of the NYPD. I met Ron Christmas Eve. I was on "Bear Patrol" that night handing them out along with turkeys. Ron asked if he could take two bears, the ones we had made with embroidery, saying Jesus loves the NYPD. We had several for the fire departments and construction workers too. Ron told me he would like to take them to his niece and nephew who lost their daddy, Kevin Murphy, in the north tower. I still wear my bracelet every year that has Kevin's name engraved on it to remember and to pray for the family. On our return trip in January, 2002, Ron got off duty just to meet my Ron and reunite again. My memories are so sweet.
I wish I had a picture of Dave of New Jersey and his crew that I sat with about 11 to 12 pm every night at the center when they took their dinner break. He was one of the welders working in ground zero. That trip I had lost my camera. The last night I was there, Dave came in and told me he had made me something. He was a tall guy, and wearing his big construction gloves, opened them up and there lied this cross. He told me not to touch it yet because it was still hot. He cut it out of the 57th story beam of the North Tower. It is big and weighs a lot. I can not describe the emotions of such a gift, even to this day but it does have a place on my coffee table to remind me every day to continue to pray for the loved ones left behind and for our country.
Bernie and Kevin operated their cranes in GZ. They were really nice guys. One night when it was to windy to operator their cranes, they took me inside GZ on to their cranes. That was an intense experience and I'll never forgot what it felt like looking down into the pit. Kevin had a flag on his crane but Kevin did not. I brought a flag with me on this Christmas trip signed by a school in Lake Forest, Calif. to give to someone in New York. I chose to give it to Bernie, for his crane. Bernie, in return, passed the flag around to all the crane operators of GZ, had them sign the white strip on the left of the flag and hung it on his crane for a couple of days. Then he took the flag down and returned it to me, asking that I now return it to the school, which I did. Here are a couple of pictures of that day I did that in California.
Jerry and Me in his big huge machine. I always felt like "just one of the guys". I still remember my conversations with Jerry, how he felt each night finding body parts, or remnants of the items left behind. It really was tough for these guys. I'm glad we created a place they felt safe in to come and talk, eat, and just relax for a bit until returning back out in the pit. This experience of volunteering in NYC really did change me forever and feel this was thee most rich time of my life. In the ashes of evil, I, like so many, precious memories were made. Good always comes out of every situation. Remembering today, this 10th anniversary of September 11th, by the grace of God I go.