Archive for July, 2012

Heroes All Around Us

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

photo.JPG24thArmy Sergeant Jim Josten was slowly making his way through the streets of Brooklyn Heights when he saw The Kindness Bicycle. Jim did 2 tours of duty in Vietnam. He says he’s a little slower now but he gets there a little later than sooner. He and I talked for some time as people walked by in his neighborhood. He is a true American Hero.
Today was a very long day in the sun as I made my way to many Firehouses and Police Precincts. I also visited the Veterans Hospital where I talked with several Veterans who work or are being treated at this facility. I had the fortune of meeting with the Public Affairs Officer who is going to spread word of The Kindness Bicycle Ride for Heroes throughout the campus. Making my way out of the maze of corridors I had a conversation with a small group of Marines.
There are Heroes all around us, you just have to want to see them.

This is One Amazing Boat

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

7-23-12On the Hudson River, on west side of Manhattan, is the home of the newly renovated Marine Fire Rescue Operations of the FDNY. Firefighter Rob Hogan gave me a tour of this newly renovated state of the art facility. The main attraction is the “Three Forty Three.” This boat is 140 feet long and 500 tons, making it the country’s largest fire boat. It is named in honor of the 343 Firefighter Heroes who perished on 9/11. “On Sept. 11, we all saw how important fire boats are to New York City,” Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta said in a statement. “The FDNY Marine Division rescued and transported hundreds of citizens and provided the only supply of water to battle the fires at the World Trade Center for many days.”
“The Three Forty Three will significantly improve our ability to respond to emergencies in and around New York Harbor, while also reminding us all of the incredible sacrifices so many of our members made.”

One Last Firehouse

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

7-22-12The 10 Firehouse on Liberty Street in Manhattan will be the final visit I make on this 4,000 mile, 9 month Kindness Bicycle Ride for Heroes. Firehouse 10 is adjacent to the World Trade Center property in New York City. I will be there sometime in mid-October. I have visited every other Firehouse on Manhattan except for the Fireboats, which I will visit on Monday afternoon.
I am having so many powerful interactions with the people I connect with as I make my way through the crowded streets of this city. There is a yearning to get back to a time where core values are embraced for all of us. Looking up to role models who protect our liberties and freedom is another needed value children should be encouraged to seek.

The Big Leagues

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

7-21-12Today I got maximum exposure for The Kindness Bicycle Ride for Heroes in the northern neighborhoods of Brooklyn. One of my stops was the Hicks Street Firehouse in Brooklyn Heights. This was my 5th visit to this Firehouse to once again find them out on a call. It is amazing that I can miss them on so many occasions. The remainder of the day was making sure The Kindness Bicycle was in view in the busiest neighborhoods. I am seeing many people from all over town and all over the country informing me that they have seen or heard about One Million Acts Of Kindness.
The photo I used today is of my nephew’s 7&8 year old baseball team, The Nationals who were undefeated this season. The Lakewood Fire Department sponsored their team. The team posed in front of the 9/11 memorial at the Firehouse. It is my hope, that this age group, who weren’t alive on that day of terror, ever have to live in a world with such hate.

New York City Viet Nam Memorial

Friday, July 20th, 2012

7-20-12I decided to spend a good portion of this very rainy day at the Vietnam Memorial in Manhattan. I talked with individuals who ventured out into the rain and many who were under cover of adjacent buildings about The Kindness Bicycle Ride for Heroes. This memorial honors all of the New York City residents who made the ultimate sacrifice. The “Walk of Honor,” has a series of twelve polished granite pylons, with the names of all 1,741 United States military personnel from New York City who died as a result of their service in Vietnam, leads to the refurbished memorial. A wall of translucent glass blocks, on which are engraved excerpts of letters, poems, and diary entries written by men and women of the armed forces, as well as news dispatches. A granite shelf runs along the base of the monument, onto which visitors are able to place flowers. Today this redesigned plaza and restored memorial serve as a timeless tribute to the Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Special Operations Command, FDNY

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

7-19-12Roosevelt Island is located in the middle of the East River and is part of Manhattan. The Special Operations Command of the FDNY is located on Roosevelt Island.
I arrived at the specialty firehouse which handles decontamination, rescue, hazardous spills and many other types of highly skilled services. Most of the training for the firefighters from all the boroughs come here to learn about the importance of how to be safe while working these calls.
Steve, a Firefighter of 29 years spent time talking with me about how this Firehouse is relied upon to do just about anything imaginable that might occur in any of the five boroughs.
With my travels through Queens, I visited the Firehouse on 37th Avenue and a couple of officers from the 110th Precinct. When I told them I had finished my ride in Manhattan, the one Officer responded, “Welcome to Queens.” I think I am on the right track.

It is Heating Up Out Here!

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

This morning came early as I decided to ride to the northernmost reaches of Manhattan. My 1st stop was to the 30th Police Precinct. Two Police Heroes, George and Rod met with me at the front counter. George was enthused about my ride to say the least and asked many great questions. It was a joy to stop here. I visited the 33rd Police Precinct as well and talked with Community Affairs Officer Robinson. She was such a delight to talk with. I loved when she said, “We just don’t see people doing stuff like this for us.” That was all I needed to hear today. It made me feel good about what I am doing but bittersweet that Heroes aren’t appreciated enough.
My 1st Firehouse visit was at the W161st Street Firehouse and they got a call in the middle of our meeting as did the Firehouse on W181st Street and the Vermilyea Avenue Firehouse as well. The Firehouse on W170th Street had fought a huge blaze by Yankee Stadium last night. I guess when it heats up these guys get busier than their already busy schedule.
The photo I used today was taken mid-morning and it was hot already! I think the expression on my face says it all, where is the nearest lawn sprinkler I can ride The Kindness Bicycle through?