Monday, July 4, 2022

Happy New York Fourth of July, memorial, and a salute to global spirit


One World Trade Center is a remarkable homage to those whose lives
were lost in the "9/11" terrorist attacks. A museum and a beautiful
reflecting pool with victims' names honor their memory.



Our Fourth of July last year included a trip to New York
and a bus tour of the city, something we've done before
but always enjoy for a new take. Fun to do on July Fourth

AS WE gather to feast, enjoy fireworks and treasure family and friends, we pay tribute to the international spirit of New York City, which played a key role in the settlement of the United States. And we salute the city's ability to heal.

This bustling berg traces its origins to a trading post founded on the southern tip of Manhattan Island by Dutch colonists in 1624. They named their settlement New Amsterdam in 1626, long before the Founding Fathers came along.  New Amsterdam was chartered as a city in 1653.

VIEWING FIREWORKS over the Statue of Liberty is an uplifting way to affirm all that's good about America.  We've welcome immigrants since our beginnings, and our countrymen celebrate the diversity that makes the USA so appealing.  Our own circle includes friends from all over the world who share our fondness for American enterprise, 
The melting pot of New York City is evident
and full of  energy near Times Square.

humor, spirit of adventure, generosity and good will.
From 1776 to today, the holiday is celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities and reunions, rodeos, fireworks, parades and concerts.
But between family gatherings and barbecues, let's ponder what really makes America -- and New York -- great -- politics aside, please.

One World Trade Center stands
where the Twin Towers were.
WHAT TO ME best describes our country is a double-card strong suit that trumps all others: our resilience and compassion.
We've got spirit in spades, and we are proud of our ability to leaven even the murkiest challenges with humor. We are known worldwide for our capacity to recover from difficulties, for our toughness and resolve. And we're known for our kindness.  In dozens of visits to New York, I've always been graciously accommodated when I ask help with directions. I've even had New Yorkers guide me to the museum, the restaurant, the park. "Here, I'm going that way, I'll take you there." That's New York, and one of the reasons I love it.
New York welcomes visitors from all over the
world, as this Indian woman illustrates. Here she
poses as her husband did earlier, in Midtown.
 resilience as "the spring back into shape; elasticity."
No where is that more evident than in the reimagined One World Trade Center.  People from all over the world come to meditate, to ponder, to appreciate the way in which New Yorkers rebounded from tragedy and created a beautiful space from death and destruction.

A guide there told me that she's seen not only relatives of 9/11 victims, but veterans of war, people recovering from health issues and car accidents, parents struggling for peace after losing a child to gun violence.

Patrick Harry Cosgriffe fishing the Stillwater
River in early spring, happy in his Montana home.

THIS FOURTH of July is also the weekend our family is celebrating our brother's life.  Patrick Harry Cosgriffe accomplished a great deal in his too brief life.  Although he never particularly liked school, he graduated from college with honors. He did this while raising a handicapped child with his devoted partner after the birth mother abrogated responsibility. He was a gifted artist and fisherman, beloved brother, uncle, cousin, friend.

So next time I visit Ground Zero and the beautiful 9/11 memorial, I'll say a prayer for Patrick, as many visitors do, remembering their departed loved ones at a scene of calm and reflection.

AS OUR CLAN says good-bye to Patrick, I think of the thousands of lives altered by the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York, Washington, D.C., and in the fields of Pennsylvania, where a heroic group of passengers brought down a third suicide plane 
headed for the White House.
A visit to New York has always been healing for me, with my life long love of theater. So I'll again give my regards to Broadway, honor a city with a rich history, and remember my hero Patrick and his huge heart.

Totems in Skagway, Alaska, tell stories, often about mythical creatures
and sometimes featuring the crow, known for his quick thinking
and his ability to trick. This one is a favorite of our able guide, Cruin.

UP NEXT: While Montana is recovering from record flood damage and families are celebrating summer, we find tranquil climes as we sail up the beautiful coast of California, past Oregon and Washington, to cruise Alaska's rich waters. We'll share this unique state's wonders in a three-part series. First, we take you to Ketchikan, where totem poles are revered and continually being restored, displayed and created. Our guide is a transplanted Scotsman with tales to tell. Then Skagway with its splendid rail trip to the Yukon, for stunning scenery and breathtaking views of the wilderness. Finally, we're on the whale trail in Juneau. Remember to explore, learn and live and catch us weekly for a fresh spin on the arts, nature, family and travel:


  1. We look forward always to your spirited pieces, and this one is a real winner!

  2. Fun, reflective piece with great dimension and excellent photos.

  3. Maryland TravelersJuly 5, 2022 at 7:36 AM

    Moving testimony to the importance of place, family and memory.

  4. Bay Area FollowersJuly 7, 2022 at 1:10 PM

    We read this with tears and smiles. Wonderful interweaving of our nation's history -- and yours!