Actions and Reactions
By now all of you are familiar with the Anthony / Bronx connection: how we “adopted” a fallen fireman’s (Joe Spor) family after 9/11 and the correspondence between his fire station in the Bronx and our community. I just want to take a couple of minutes to fill you in on what else has happened.
My sister Deborah, who lives in St. Louis, is an avid reader of the Republican (I think she wants to see what trouble her little brother has gotten into). She was so moved by the actions of the people of Anthony that she contacted an acquaintance at the K.C. Star suggesting they do a feature article on how a small town in Kansas reached out to a hero of 9/11. They followed up, spent a couple of days in Anthony, and printed a very nice article on Sunday February 3rd. If you haven’t had a chance to see or read the article, there are some for sale at the City building and I have some you can read at my store. The article itself is highly complimentary of Anthony and should reinforce the pride we all feel at being part of such a neat community. From a marketing standpoint, Anthony got some very valuable publicity and I don’t think we can fully gauge what the final reactions to our actions of caring and generosity will be. Let me tell you about just a couple.
The day after the article hit the KC newsstands I got a call from the chairman of the KC St. Patrick’s Day parade. He said they had wanted to have New York firefighters march in their parade (one of the largest in the country) but had been unable to locate any. Since we had a relationship with Ladder 38, he asked if I would call Lt. Joe Huber and ask if he and 3 of his buddies would be willing to march in the parade. He said the parade committee would pay all expenses and treat them like royalty for the 3 days they would be in KC. Of course I agreed to extend the invitation and after several calls, Joe and another fireman from the Bronx agreed to fly out to Kansas and represent the FDNY. Wanting to honor our own firemen, I asked if some of Anthony’s firemen could march with Joe and his buddy. The chairman agreed and offered the same all-expenses-paid invitation to two of our fine volunteers. Unfortunately, none have been able to accept this offer. Joe’s only condition to marching in the parade was that he be allowed to come to Anthony to see for himself the city and people with the big heart. Long story short, Lt. Joe Spor will be in Anthony all day Thursday, March 14. Then on Friday Pam and I will drive him back to KC and watch him and his buddy march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday, March 17.
The next call I received was from the assistant director of a Hy-Vee grocery store in Overland Park. Jeff Rink told me that every spring his store holds a fund-raiser and after reading the story about Anthony wondered if I could help him find a worthy victim’s family in New York to sponsor. I called Joe Huber and he told me the heartbreaking story of the Diaz family in Brooklyn: the mother was dying of cancer and had been preparing her husband and two sons, ages 4 and 7 for her death when the husband was killed at the WTC. She passed away the end of January and the neighborhood fire station (Ladder 147) is trying to help the boys as much as possible. To make another long story short, the Hy-Vee in Overland Park will hold their fundraiser and send the proceeds to Brooklyn for the Diaz boys. They also hope to involve their school in “adopting” the boys just like Ms. Carr’s and Ms. Schmidt’s classes here did with Joe Spor’s family. Two of the firefighters from Brooklyn’s Ladder 147 will also be making the trip to KC to march on St. Patrick’s Day.
You knew I couldn’t just end it here. The laws of nature dictate that for every action there is a reaction. I want you to know that your actions of caring and generosity have produced exponential positive reactions. In addition to the comfort and financial aid given directly to Joe Spor’s family and the firefighters in the Bronx, your actions have resulted in another source of comfort for another set of victims. The young Diaz boys and the firefighters in Brooklyn will receive some comfort and financial aid and the people of Overland Park will also know the blessings of giving and knowing exactly where and who the money goes to.
Because of your actions, Kansas City will be able to honor some heroes of 9/11; and those heroes, through marching in that parade, may understand the honor and gratitude we bestow upon them. Maybe, just maybe it will help ease some of the terrible pain, sorrow, and nightmares that they have lived with for all these months.
In the days immediately following September 11, you acted with caring and generosity by donating to the Victim’s Relief Fund. When you bought that flag, put that dollar in the jar, bought a ribbon, or donated at the bank you set into motion a series of reactions that has brought comfort to total strangers. Those strangers have and will become friends. Who would’ve thought that a small, simple act of kindness could have such a profound effect on so many people?
Last modified: September 23, 2010
Copyright 2002 Anthony 9-11 Memorial Committee
Send mail to Anthony9-11Memorial@gmail.com with
questions or comments about this web site.