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Acting your age certainly does not run in my family.
Happy Birthday Mom!
This photo was taken last week. It was a gorgeous fall day in NYC and I was in town with a group of folks on a press tour for one of my upcoming events. We scouted about five different locations, but this one now stands out in my mind and really makes me stop and think.
We are standing in front of the World Trade Center site. The ground right beneath us is bustling with cranes, trucks and constructions crews. It looks as if they are bulding a small city right before our eyes. The construction is fast and furious to the point we may need to alter my transportation plan because the location where we are supposed to load out may no longer be standing in a few weeks. Selfishly speaking, so I do not have to re route all my cars and buses, I want them to slow it down.
The token guy in the middle is the manager of the site. He is honestly one of the most genuine people I have come across in the city. He is never stressed, never too busy and always accommodating; and yet he probably has one of the most stressful and emotional jobs around. His office is adorned with photos of him and all kinds of famous and powerful people who for one reason or another have come to Ground Zero. The most recent shots are of him and Sarah Palin and him and Obama.
He wanted to take our photo to add to his collection. Within an hour of posing for this shot, he emailed it to us with a caption that we were now positioned right next to the Palin shot. Something tells me he honestly enjoys our visits and that the event we are hosting there in a few weeks means a lot more than any presidential candidate walking across this promised land.
I am very familiar with the tragedy that caused this new construction and the what seems to be the never ending ramifications. I have produced events for a firefighters foundation for the past 8 years and I am now working on an event in support of our US troops. Inevitably, 9-11 comes up. However, I think the celebrity appeal and super fast pace always sugar coated the hard cold facts, at least for me, and the effect did not resonate as much. I have always been in high gear. But the first time I actually came here on a scout, I was not prepared for the effect. I was thankful it was mid July and I was wearing my large black sunglasses. All the fame and hype vanished as soon as I slowed down to really look around.
This November right before Veterans Day, we will be producing an event for Microsoft and in partnership with the USO, for a number of wounded warriors from the Walter Reed Hospital for a weekend celebration in NYC. By request, the World Trade Center site is one of our stops.
The signage in the photo, “use low gear” although staked for safety reasons, clearly has an alternate meaning. Life does indeed go on, but whenever I visit the site of the World Trade Center everything grinds to a halt for me.