|Students re-enact Titanic on the ferry|
The Edgerton community has rallied around the group, and the support was unbelievable. The $16,000 needed to purchase new choir uniforms was raised in a matter of weeks. And within the last year, donations totaling more than $80,000 for the trip have come flooding in. The Edgerton School Board approved more than $50,000 alone in the past two months. So when the students were boarding the bus to leave, it was no surprise that the community turned out to send them off. Students at the elementary school created handmade signs, and parents lined the streets to wave as the buses departed. Edgerton VFW members performed a gun salute before the buses left. The Depot Cafe wrote a message in chalk on their outside board, wishing the band and choir luck.
|Me in front of Lady Liberty|
Our Lady of Liberty is more than 300 feet tall. If you take the ferry past, she looks pretty tall, but for the first time, I docked and was able to walk around. And in person, she is a very imposing and proud woman. Taking pictures of the students with our Lady in the background was fairly challening, partly because there were so many people and partly because she was almost too large to get in the same frame. We had a half hour before we had to leave, so there was no time to walk inside the statue. I’ll save that for next time. We were supposed to make a stop at Ellis Island, but time was of the essence (and we missed an earlier ferry) so we had to skip it. I’ll have to save that for next time.
From there, it was time to catch a subway to Little Italy/Chinatown. We enjoyed a delicious pasta dish and dessert before making our way to the 9/11 Memorial Museum.
I was there in April 2013 and saw the memorial pools, but the museum was a different experience. As I wandered through, it all came flooding back, and tears filled my eyes, although I kept them from overflowing. The video of the planes flying into the towers was horrifically mesmerizing, but what really got to me was a picture of three medical professionals. They had rushed to the scene and were prepared to help with the mass injuries that were expected....only they never came. Stretchers outside a nearby clinic remained vacant. There was no need for them. There were very few wounded from the collapse of the Twin Towers, and many dead.
|The 9/11 Reflective Memorial pool at dusk|
By the time the group, including myself, checked in at the Hilton Hotel in New Jersey, it was around 9 p.m. I cannot speak for the students, but I was feeling pretty exhausted. Being on a bus for 20 hours and then touring for 12 hours? Sunday was going to be another busy day.
|The half-crushed fire engine ladder truck|