Saturday, September 17, 2011


Marion Pellicano Ambrose 
The Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787, by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and ratified by conventions in each U.S. state in the name of "The People". It has been amended twenty-seven times; the first ten amendments are known as the Bill of Rights
1.  What is the United States Constitution?
The Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America and lays out the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.
2.  The United States Constitution almost didn't happen.
When delegates of 12 of the 13 states (Rhode Island being the only exception), arrived at the Constitutional Convention, the purpose was only to revise the Articles of Confederation.  But it was the intention of forward thinking individuals, chief among them James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, to push for a new government and new Constitution rather than fix the existing one.
3.  How long did it take to write the Constitution?
It was drafted in fewer than one hundred working days.
4.  No Bill of Rights in the original U.S. Constitution.
The Constitution was created without a Bill of Rights.  It was signed on September 17, 1787, but within 2 years, the Bill of Rights would be added as the first ten amendments.  Here are all of the amendments:
  • The Bill of Rights: First 10 and the 27th Amendment
  • Scope of Federal Government Power: 11th and 16th Amendments
  • Federal Elections & Terms: 12th, 17th, 20th, 22nd, and 25th Amendments
  • Civil War Amendments: 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments
  • Suffrage Amendments: 15th, 19th, 23rd, 24th and 26th Amendments
  • Prohibition: 18th and 21st Amendments
5.  The Constitutional Convention did not end slavery.
The contentious issue of slavery was too controversial to be resolved in the newly created Constitution.  Section 9 of Article I allowed the continued "importation" of such persons.  It would take the Civil War to end slavery over 70 years later.
Also missing from the Constitution was the right of women to vote.  This was not added until 1920.
6.  How many amendments to the Constitution have been repealed?
Only one, the 18th (Prohibition) repealed by the 21st.
7.  Who was the first signer of the U.S. Constitution?
As President of the Constitutional Convention, George Washington was the first to sign the newly drafted Constitution.  Surprisingly,  Thomas Jefferson and John Adams never signed it - both were away serving their country abroad.
Extra:  Where is the U.S. Constitution today?
The United States Constitution is located in the National Archives Building in Washington D. C.


Olive pate is surely the
Calamata olives, or half Calamata and half cracked green olives pits removed
2 tbsp. crushed garlic
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Put all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor, and puree until you have a fairly smooth paste. Makes about 1-1/2 cups, and keeps indefinitely in the refrigerator.

Serve with your favorite cracker or pita chip


Rita Rudner born on September 17, 1955
Bo Brinkman born on September 17, 1956
Damon Hill born on September 17, 1960
Baz Luhrmann born on September 17, 1962
Dustin Nguyen born on September 17, 1962
Paul Feig born on September 17, 1962
James Urbaniak born on September 17, 1963
Bryan Singer born on September 17, 1965
Gore Verbinski born on September 17, 1965
Kyle Chandler born on September 17, 1965
Anne Louise Hassing born on September 17, 1967
Malik Yoba born on September 17, 1967
Anastacia born on September 17, 1968
Ewong Yung born on September 17, 1968
Tara Fitzgerald born on September 17, 1968
Keith Flint born on September 17, 1969
Matthew Settle born on September 17, 1969
Mark Brunell born on September 17, 1970
Adriana Sklenarikova born on September 17, 1971
Floriane Daniel born on September 17, 1971
Ada Choi born on September 17, 1973
Themistoklis Nikolaidis born on September 17, 1973
A.J. Calloway born on September 17, 1974
Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn born on September 17, 1974
Nona Gaye born on September 17, 1974
Rasheed Wallace born on September 17, 1974
Stacy Kamano born on September 17, 1974
Angel Hernandez born on September 17, 1975
Constantine Maroulis born on September 17, 1975
Jimmie Johnson born on September 17, 1975
Bobby Lee born on September 17, 1976
Rolan Gusev born on September 17, 1977
Simone Perrotta born on September 17, 1977
Ingrid Martz born on September 17, 1979
Jolene Van Vugt born on September 17, 1980
Bakari Koné born on September 17, 1981
Wade Robson born on September 17, 1982
Jennifer Pena born on September 17, 1983
Eugenia Volodina born on September 17, 1984
Tomas Berdych born on September 17, 1985
Crystal Reed born on September 17, 1988

Friday, September 16, 2011


Marion Pellicano Ambrose

Spring is so beautiful and meaningful with new life sprouting up everywhere, and summer is warm and lazy: a time for picnics with family and friends.   Winter is a frosty, silent time and an excuse to cozy up with the one you love, but Autumn – for me Autumn is the season of color, of memories and anticipation.
Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.
~Stanley Horowitz

The sudden burst of yellow, orange, red, gold and brown and the crispness in the air during Autumn invigorate me. The scent of apples and wood burning in fireplaces brings me back to my childhood. I remember apple picking on a frosty morning and then  making pies, apple butter and apple crisp, enough for an army in fact. I can picture all of us girls hanging around and talking while the guys played football in the park. It was the time for placing pumpkins and wreaths made of colorful leaves and berries on our windows and doors and raggedy scarecrows on our lawns. Autumn was the herald that announced that it would soon be time for Jack o Lanterns, witches and bats, for little trick or treaters running up and down the block in adorable costumes asking for treats. Autumn: my favorite time of the year.
When I moved to Florida so many years ago, I had no idea how much I would miss the change of seasons. I longed for the scents and colors that I loved so much. I knew I couldn’t go back North, but after a few miserable Autumns of feeling sorry for myself, I learned to bring all the things I love about Autumn to Florida!(Well, almost all!)


Dawn Boyle

There is one thing my partner Barbara and I have in common and that is LACK OF SLEEP. For one reason or another it seems that we both burn the candle too late and for too long. I have not slept since the year before I got married. So from that statement I believe I am an expert in this field as I have been dealing with it for 13 years.

There is a difference between the "NO SLEEP" you get when you are in your late teens and early twenties than the lack of it when you are older.

I used to be able to go out 5 nights a week til the wee hours of the morning, power nap til 8:00am and be in work by 9:00am. Get home by 5:45, power nap again til 8:30, jump in the shower and be out by 9:30. Repeating that over and over. I never gained a pound. I never felt a hangover and I didn't have wrinkles.

The next phase of "NO SLEEP" was when my then boy-friend and I purchased our first house. We renovated it top to bottom. We worked at it day in and day out. We would bang in about 4 hours of sleep a night and once again never missed a beat. I am pretty sure it was because we were so "in love" with each other and excited to start playing house that got us through that time of deprivation.

The I am getting married "NO SLEEP" is the beginning of the end as far as I am concerned. The stress, endless fighting with everyone and necessity for perfection does start wear on you. I got engaged June 16, 1999 and married July 3, 2000. During that short time I aged A LOT!

We then enter the current phase I am in - I have kids, there are too many people in my bed, I am the only one who hears the dog bark at 2:00am and apparently still a waitress when someone needs a drink in the middle of the night. I have been told that the only other time that is worse is when your children start driving. I have a few years to I plan on loading up on the Tylenol PM and banking hours now. I have already started research on which plastic surgeon will fix my crows feet and will consider installing LO JACK on the cars once the phase is approaching.

Til then...I am not being a bitch, I am just exhausted! I haven't slept in 13 years and there doesn't look like there will be a pillow in my future anytime soon! If you are like me (and Barbara) there are some interesting facts below for you to check out!

Myths and Facts about Sleep

Myth 1: Getting just 1 hour less sleep per night won’t affect your daytime functioning. You may not be noticeably sleepy during the day. But even slightly less sleep can affect your ability to think properly and respond quickly, and compromise your cardiovascular health, energy balance, and ability to fight infections.

Myth 2: Your body adjusts quickly to different sleep schedules. Most people can reset their biological clock, but only by appropriately timed cues—and even then, by 1–2 hours per day at best. Consequently, it can take more than a week to adjust after traveling across several time zones or switching to the night shift.

Myth 3: Extra sleep at night can cure you of problems with excessive daytime fatigue. Not only is the quantity of sleep important but also the quality of sleep. Some people sleep 8 or 9 hours a night but don’t feel well rested when they wake up because the quality of their sleep is poor.

Myth 4: You can make up for lost sleep during the week by sleeping more on the weekends. Although this sleeping pattern will help relieve part of a sleep debt, it will not completely make up for the lack of sleep. Furthermore, sleeping later on the weekends can affect your sleep-wake cycle so that it is much harder to go to sleep at the right time on Sunday nights and get up early on Monday mornings.

Adapted from Your Guide to Healthy Sleep (PDF) - The National Institutes of Health

Thursday, September 15, 2011


“Baked” Apple Crisp for Two!:
  • 4 cups peeled, cored, sliced apples
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup low-fat frozen vanilla yogurt
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F
2. Place the apples evenly in the bottom of a baking dish coated with cooking spray.
3. To complete the crisp, in a medium-sized bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and stir until the mixture resembles of course meal. Top the apples evenly with the oat mixture.
4. Bake the crisp at 350°F for 30 minutes.
5. Top each apple crisp serving with 2 tablespoons of frozen vanilla yogurt.
Serves 8



Patty B

Look, there's no metaphysics on earth like chocolates.  
~Fernando Pessoa

I don't drown my sorrows; I suffocate them with chocolate. 

Chocolate is like medicine - but as with medicine, the key is the proper dose.  Don't overdo it


Charley, a new retiree-greeter at Wal-Mart, just couldn't seem to get to work on time.
Every day he was 5, 10, 15 minutes late. But he was a good worker, really tidy, clean-shaven, sharp-minded and a real credit to the company and obviously demonstrating their "Older Person Friendly" policies.
One day the boss called him into the office for a talk.
"Charley, I have to tell you, I like your work ethic, you do a bang-up job when you finally get here; but your being late so often is quite bothersome."
"Yes, I know boss, and I am working on it."

"Well good, you are a team player. That's what I like to hear.”
“Yes sir, I understand your concern and I’ll try harder.”
Seeming puzzled, the manager went on to comment, “It's odd though your coming in late. I know you're retired from the Armed Forces. What did they say to you there if you showed up in the morning so late and so often?"
The old man looked down at the floor, then smiled.
He chuckled quietly, then said with a grin, "They usually saluted and said, ‘Good morning, Admiral, can I get your coffee, sir?’”


Tony Walker
What's Shakin?!
I'm shakin!
This bitch should be shakin!!
In case you haven't heard.... Some 12 year old girls were insulting each other on Facebook. One of the girls' mother came up with the genius plan of setting a meet between the girls so they can fight.... You read that right.... a meet so they can fight.... not yell at each other.... fight.... punching, kicking, etc.
201109_melinpd.jpgIt gets better!!! The other girl decides not to show, instead sending someone one else in her place. Like most fights they brought back up. Next thing you know it's an all out brawl.

Wait! It gets even better!!! Another 12 year old tells the mother.... again you read that right.... a 12 year old tells the mother, not the other way around, that as an adult she should be putting a stop to this fight. What does this woman do? She does what any mom would do right? She spits in that 12 year old's face & goes after her.
Do we even need to comment on this? Surely we're all on the same page here!!! Disgusted, shocked, scared, angry.


Here's my fear-this pig will sell the video footage, go on every talk show, write a book, pose for Playboy, etc etc.
UNLESS.... unless I am wrong. I really hope I am.

This woman's lawyer said this woman tried talking to the school but the school turned a deaf ear. The lawyer says this woman was attacked from behind by the 12 year so she just defended herself.
I have 2 questions for the lawyer. Why was the woman & her child with these other kids in the first place? If they threatened her daughter & the school does nothing then call the cops! My other question is how does he defend the video where whoever is taping introduces the girls who are going to fight? If they're introduced that means it wasn't a surprise. Everyone knew there was going to be a fight! In the video an adult is the loudest one cheering! When watching the video it's hard to tell but as the woman is kneeing a kid in the face I'm not getting the impression that it's self defense!

Welcome to the latest story that we're all going to be sick of very soon.... just like the Amy Fishers, the OJ's, etc etc.
I'm going to be sick.....

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Tony Walker
A chicken & an egg are in bed together.
The chicken is very happy & smoking a cigarette. 
The egg is sitting there all pissed off.
The chicken laughs & says, "Well I guess we answered THAT question!"


Marion Pellicano Ambrose
OK, I happen to be an average, fairly intelligent, well-educated woman of the world, but I just can’t get what the big thing is about Twitter. I’ve researched (Twitter for Dummies, numerous articles and “how to’s) which made me even less interested in Tweeting or Tooting or whatever they call it. OMG: branding, “tweeting retweetable tweets”, tweet fodder, hash tags, it’s just too much work! Also, from what I can see, people who Tweet document every bloody detail of their lives. Talk about TMI!  
“12:15pm Stopped by Steak and Shake”   “12:30 Waitress slow”12:30 Frisco melt@ Steak and Shake”   “12:45 Back to work”   “1:15 SO bloated and nauseous-”  “1:40 in BR, can’t go” 
ENOUGH ALREADY! If you are irregular, tell your doctor. I really don’t want to know! I just don’t get why people think the world is interested in these minute details!  I did enjoy an article I read on “Tweeting Too Hard” (see link below) It claims to be “A site for shaming the twitteringly self-important. Loved it!
So maybe I’m just getting old and resistant to change, but give me good old Facebook any day! I can keep up with IMPORTANT and INTERESTING news from family and friends without having to hear about their toilet habits.  I hope Twitter Tweeters will not take offense at this post. I believe, to each his or her own, but I just can’t tolerate taking time to twitter terribly tacky tweets on Twitter.   ( Now say that 3X fast!)
Twitter 101 By Aliza Sherman



Patty B

Chocolate is a perfect food, as wholesome as it is delicious, a beneficent restorer of exhausted power. It is the best friend of those engaged in literary pursuits.
--Baron Justus von Liebig

WICKED ALIAS --- AKA: Norma McCorvey

Barbara Ward-Finneran
What a wicked position to find yourself in.  To realize that what you wanted and or did in your early twenties would have lifetime ramifications.  Not only for you personally, but for your entire country.  

How many of us can look back on decisions that we made early on in our adult life that we now know we would not choose again.  Can you imagine the wicked fallout if your choices changed not only you forever but also the world?  Not many have the wisdom at such a young and raw age to make life altering choices without realizing the long term ramifications.  Much less have them lay history making consequences. 

Norma McCorvey made such decisions when she was just 21.  Now almost 30 years later, she works to promote life and change. 

Norma McCorvey recently filed a motion in Texas to overturn Roe v. Wade, the case in which she was the litigant in 1973.  Additionally she has started Roe No More Ministry where it is her objective to be the voice for the voiceless.  The voice for the unborn.  Her alias, Jane Roe, is reveled by those who call themselves "pro-choice" and the repercussions of that case have been debated countless times in the nearly 30 years since the Supreme Court decision.  

In recent interviews, Norma now states that she was used by pro abortion attorneys in their zeal to legalize the procedure. At the age of twenty-one Norma was pregnant.  She had previously given up two children for adoption and longed not to say goodbye to a third.  She decided to seek an illegal abortion but the clinic she went to had been raided and shut down.  She then made up a story, saying that she was raped.  Telling her doctor and two lawyers.  She signed an affidavit on condition of anonymity, and the lawsuit began.

In a 1994 New York Times interview, Norma describes her meetings with the lawyers: "Sarah (Weddington) sat right across the table from me at Columbo's pizza parlor, and I didn't know [then] that she had had an abortion herself," she said. "When I told her then how desperately I needed one, she could have told me where to go for it. But she wouldn't because she needed me to be pregnant for her case. I set Sarah Weddington up on a pedestal like a rose petal. But when it came to my turn, well, Sarah saw these cuts on my wrists, my swollen eyes from crying, the miserable person sitting across from her, and she knew she had a patsy. She knew I wouldn't go outside of the realm of her and Linda. I was too scared. It was one of the most hideous times of my life."

Norma had a short lived teenage marriage.  She speaks of growing up poor and feeling unloved.  She was educated through 9th grade  and was a drug and alcohol abuser.  While waiting for the trial she took on odd jobs as it progressed up the judicial ladder.  She was told she didn't need to be there.  It was only AFTER 1973, after the decision, that she began to understand the ramifications of the case.  By that time, McCorvey's third child was 2 years old. McCorvey never had, nor has she ever had, an abortion. 

In 1980 she broke her silence and began giving interviews, eventually revealing that she lied about the rape --- an important fact in the Row Vs. Wade case.  She became a pro abortion advocate and speaker and wallowed in depression about her lies.  She made several attempts at suicide before receiving psychiatric help.  She credits encounters with Pastor Phillip 'Flip' Benham and two young girls with her conversion.   One of whom told her how she was to have been aborted. 

Now a Christian, a Catholic, who is Pro -Life, her ministry's  mission is that it, "strives to network pro-life speakers throughout the nation in order to provide a base of educational and informational speakers and presenters for organizations who wish to promote the sanctity of human life and the message of love and forgiveness."  Her main focus now is convincing people that abortion is wrong.

I have comforted friends on both sides of this fence, it is not for me to judge.  Equally pained knowing a woman who in the aftermath I held while she cried and who still fights to forgive herself and, on the other side, another haunted memory of knowing a man who wept because it was his wife's choice and despite his beliefs and desires, he had no choice, his was taken away.  

Reading this knowing you are "Pro-Life" or "Pro-Choice" may stir some to research more. It might make you ponder what you thought in your twenties, before marriage, before maturity, before kids and wonder if perhaps your views have changed.  Perhaps you know with uncertainty that they have or maybe it's still rock solid for you.  

Is Norma a "hero" or a "hypocrite'?

Would you have wanted what you thought then, to still affect countless lives now?  

Would you be brave enough to publicly "right the wrong" if you felt that was so? 

Does what you thought then, still affect you now?  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Patty B

It's not the pants that make you look fat. It's the extra 20 pounds on your behind.

Running burns calories. Running your mouth burns friends.

Having a hobby is a stress reliever. unless your hobby is cheesecake.


Dawn Boyle

Tony, Tony, Tony....seems to me that your wife is a wonderful person who wants to do good in the world. That being said, I would have been pissed off like there were no tomorrow.

Similar to you, I was worried about the house, the kids and my family, even the damn dog, while my husband was worried about the boat. For days prior to the impact of Irene I was bombarded with telephone calls urging me to call our insurance company, contact various boat haulers and there was one phone call where he actually said he might drive the boat out on the Great South Bay and "ride out the storm". Yeah, that's right-my husband thought it was a good idea to wrestle a possible 20' storm surge in a 31' Formula instead of worrying about me and the kids. Crazy huh?

I am not sure if it's that certain types of people don't know how to handle specific crisis or if it's their way of not dealing with the true struggle of calming young children during a hectic time, but my mothering nature kicks into overdrive. I stockpiled for a possible 7 day "venture" while he made sure his boat was secure. I emptied out the crawlspace and collected all our valuables, while he decided it was a perfect time to straighten out the garage. People handle things different. Some people do it the right way, which is MY way and others...well others think it's a good idea to ride out a category 2 hurricane on a boat.

Next natural disaster let me know if you need anything, I am sure I will have it - oh an thank your wife for being so charitable...during a crisis I don't know if I could be that selfless. She is a good egg!


Tony Walker
 My He Said for this week may be called "He Bitched" instead.
When Hurricane Irene was knocking on Long Island's door my wife went to the phone booth & put on her Superwoman outfit. 
She is a member of The Red Cross so she spent the day before the hurricane at a shelter in New Hyde Park. She then came home for a few hours & by 7PM that Saturday night she was in our town's (Wantagh) shelter.
My wife spent the night there, sat through the hurricane there, & didn't come home until 330pm that Sunday afternoon.
So there I am at home comforting 2 kids, one of them autistic & the other ADHD, making sure the house is secure, checking on the dog, etc.
From all the hype & fear the media spread my daughter was pretty scared. My son wasn't too bad but he was concerned about mommy not being home at such a dangerous time. 
My wife's parents kept calling... my mother kept calling... my wife's best friend kept calling.... "She's not home yet??? She should be home with her family!!! Is she crazy??? When will she be back???" Ah shut up!
The last thing I need is people bitching at me. 
I'm conflicted. More than anything else I am very proud of my wife for volunteering so many hours to help other people. But I admit there is a part of me that thinks she should've been home with her family. Luckily we were not hit that hard. But what if we were? I remember one time our power went off at night from a storm. Our daughter flipped. She needs to be comforted almost constantly. How would I have comforted her & handled a tough situation at the same time? 
I was also mad because we had some plans on Saturday that we ended up not doing because of her not being around. This also upset our daughter quite a bit.
I keep fighting with myself... A part of me wants to say, "Stay home woman!" Another part is saying, "Shut up you chauvinistic dope. Let her go & be proud!" 
Tell us what you think. Do we handle our situations at home before we tend to others or should we all run out to do our part no matter what?

Monday, September 12, 2011


A man placed some flowers on the grave of his dearly departed mother and started back toward his car when his attention was diverted to another man kneeling at a grave. The man seemed to be praying with profound intensity and kept repeating, "Why did you have to die? Why did you have to die?"

The first man approached him and said, "Sir, I don't wish to interfere with your private grief, but this demonstration of pain is more than I've ever seen before. For whom do you mourn so deeply? A child? A parent?"

The mourner took a moment to collect himself, then replied, "My wife's first husband."


Patty B

The West Coast Diet: Dude, eat tofu and sprouts. Folllowed with overpriced mineral water.

The Movie Theater Diet: Don't be silly. You can't afford food at a movie theater.

The Guy Diet; Eat lots of spicy, fried food with beer. Chase with antacids.


Tony Walker

There isn't much left to say about 9/11.... everything has been said.
The Mets did a nice job paying tribute.
My hope is that 9/11 does NOT become a National holiday.... if it does, 50 plus years from now people will just look at 9/11 as a day off from school & work. 
My hope is that 9/11 does NOT become some stupid movie. Let's make money off Titanic & Pearl Harbor by throwing in some cheesy love story around it. 
As my son & I watched "9/11-10 Years Later" on CBS, I felt sad because it looked like my son finally understood what that day was all about. It made me sad that my son is getting older... by his understanding things like this it slowly takes his childhood innocence away. It also makes me sad that our kids have an event like this to understand.


Below was posted by a friend whose husband is a NYC Fireman. I asked her if I could share it with you all because when I read it, it brought me back to how "WE" all were and acted shortly after that fateful day. September 11th changed many lives....this random act of kindness is a lesson to us all. Thanks again Holly for allowing me to share your story.

Holly N.

To all my facebook friends. You know I don't post much but my husband told me a story last night that touched my heart and I felt compelled to share it. Joe was in lower Manhattan yesterday with about 30 of his fellow firefighters in dress uniform to visit the WTC site and to pay their respects to all those who perished that horrible day 10 years ago. After, they walked into a Pub to have a bite to eat before they got back on the bus to make their way back to Queens. They asked for the bill and was told that a random woman in the restaurant paid the bill for them. They found out who the woman was and all lined up and each and every one of them hugged her on the way out. WOW I was speechless. It was such an emotional day yesterday just thinking of all the hate that initiated this horrible act against our Nation and caused the deaths of all those INNOCENT people. This story helped me think that there is not only BAD out there but there is STILL GOOD


Dawn Boyle
Yesterday was rough. The weather here even participated with the feel of the day, gloomy. Although I have re-lived this day every September 11th, it was a little bit different. A harder pill to swallow. It cut deeper this year. Could it have been the ten year anniversary. Anniversary - I don't even like that word for the day. Anniversary reminds me of a happy occasion - September 11th is not happy. In fact it may be the furthest from it.

The morning after September 11th was different from the day the terrorists attacked my county. September 11th I was numb the entire day. It was the 12th and from then on after that when we realized exactly what we had just been through. I have shared with you in a previous post my day 10 years ago on September 11th. I would like to take this opportunity to open the floor to you. Sometimes being able to share your own story makes it easier.

So please share your stories here in comments. We were one that day, united we stood and still stand. I look froward to reading your comments. Thank you and God Bless America!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


"While the storm clouds gather far across the sea, 
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer. "
God Bless America, 
Land that I love. 
Stand beside her, and guide her 
Thru the night with a light from above. 
From the mountains, to the prairies, 
To the oceans, white with foam 
God bless America, My home sweet home.

Words and music by Irving Berlin


Michael Rubin
September 11, 2011

Ten Years After-Thoughts of the days leading up to, during and after September 11, 2001.

It was Saturday, September 8, 2001. My friend Angeli was coming to town and wanted to go to the top of the Twin Towers observatory. She was flying in Wednesday, September 12, 2001. I’d been to the top of the Empire State Building (86th Floor observatory) but only been to Windows on the World Restaurant and offices in the Twin Towers. I’d worked a block away at 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza where the towers were easily viewed from our 55th floor cafeteria-well the middle of them but never decided to go to the top. This was a chance to be a tourist in New York with an actual tourist. No New Yorker goes to the top of the Twin Towers unless it’s with a class field trip.

I jumped onto the website to see about getting tickets for Thursday, September 13th, 2001. Every single time slot was available so I decided we would just go and buy tickets when we got there so we wouldn’t be tied to a schedule.

Monday, September 10, 2001, the New York Mets minor league team, the Brooklyn Cyclones, were playing their first season and were playing the first of a series of 3 games for the Penn League Single-A Championships. I had my ticket in hand. I left work. Got home, changed and started the drive from Melville to Coney Island. For whatever reason I decided I would jump on the Van Wyck off the Northern State/Grand Central but missed the exit.  It was a gorgeous evening-sun still up and clear and perfect weather. I had to jump onto the dreaded Brooklyn-Queens Expressway which could have been a huge delay. Instead, for whatever reason, it was clear and moving fast.

As I drove down towards Coney Island I neared the portion that runs under the Brooklyn Heights promenade and was treated to a spectacular view of lower Manhattan. This is a time photographers call the Magic Hour or Golden Hour, when the sun begins to set and the light is magnificent. With no wind, few clouds and still water, the view of lower Manhattan was nothing but spectacular. The Twin Towers shown bright surrounded by the Winter Garden American Express headquarters and other new and old buildings of lower Manhattan. It was a treat that is burned in my brain like a frame of now-gone Kodachrome film. It was a happy accident missing the Van Wyck.

The Brooklyn Cyclones won that first game and I headed back home. I was tired and got off to a late start for work on Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001. Getting ready I heard on the radio-“Don’t go near downtown Manhattan this morning-a small plane hit one of the Twin Towers.” I continued to get ready and then turned on the Television about 15 minutes later to see if there was any more coverage.
Tuning to WABC Channel 7 in New York I could see the footage of the first tower burning. I immediately thought to myself, that was no small plane. I called my dad to let him know. He said this is a terrorist attack. I doubted him. I figured it was a bad accident. I called into the office to let them know I was running late and mentioned what I saw on the television screen. I continued to watch when I saw a plane fly into frame and hit the other tower. My first thought was “Wow someone got footage of the plane that hit the tower,” followed by that “Oh shit” moment when I realized both towers were hit and also the TV signal dropped and became fuzzy as the feeds from the Twin Towers were interrupted. This was all in maybe 2 or 3 seconds. I knew then my father was right. His insights were always clear and amazingly accurate.


Marion Pellicano Ambrose

With the news full of intelligence leaks of possible terrorist plots for the 10th anniversary of September 11th, I started to think of what effect another attack  would have on us. It was then that I realized that the terrorists have already had a lasting effect on us. They’ve put fear back in the hearts of Americans. We live every day worrying if “it” will happen again. We take off our shoes at the airport and gaze suspiciously at other passengers boarding our plane. We worried on New Year’s when crowds filled Times Square and now we stress over Ground Zero on the 11th.

But there is more to fear. I fear that we’ll hang up our flags, change our profile pictures and wear red white and blue through September 11th. We might even carry it over to the 12th, but on September 13th will we go back to “life as usual”? Will we roll our eyes at the cop who pulls us over for speeding, fail to move over when a fire truck is rushing down the road? Will we return to arguing about politics and gas prices and forget the unity and solidarity we share when we remember the events of 9-11? This is the threat I fear. I hope that in the coming days, we can find the strength and commitment to keep the spirit of bravery and self-sacrifice that was shown by those on flight 93, the first responders and all who came together as Americans that fateful day.


United we stand!  Let us stand in unity today... 
Let us stand together in FAITH, HOPE and LOVE.  



Reverend Wintley Phipps
We pray today that from the ashes will rise a new spirit of beauty and unity in America.
Already, all across this nation our hearts have been knit together into a new tapestry of one America.
Because of this tragedy, we have been bound together by a silver chord of hope and brotherhood and sisterhood.
What was meant to drive us apart has really drawn us together.
May we always remember.
And so today we ask, God, that you would wipe the tears of all in need of comfort.
That you would warm the heart of one who would grow cold from bitterness.
That you would lift the head of that one who is bowed down in sadness.
That you would touch the discouraged and remind them that love will always conquer hate.
We thank you, God, for making us such a resilient people. We know that we are.
And we pray now for the strength to rise again, to build again, and to live free from fear.
We pray that you will help us rebuild our broken lives and mend our broken hearts.
We pray that you will give us the courage to face evil and the faith to believe that good will never be defeated.
Hold us close to your heart.
And through our tears, and through our sorrow, may we all see a new vision of a new tomorrow.