Children stung by terror: Stop the hate
Philadelphia (CNN)They are teenagers and young adults. Yet in their short lives they each have been touched by terror.
Zoe Jacobs, 16, Kinnelon, New Jersey
Javier Aparicio, 18, Madrid, Spain
Brendan Fitzpatrick, 17, Tuckahoe, New York
Astrid Boeyum Kloven, 17, Oslo, Norway
Morgan Rodriguez, 14, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Dozens of volunteers and first responders are coming together to give back to homeless veterans in the Bronx.
Together with the nonprofit group ‘Tuesday’s Children,’ volunteers packed hundreds of lunches and made blankets and holiday cards to give to veterans.
Organizers say it is their way of saying thanks to those who helped them in their time of need.
Congress must aid the WTC sick
Manhattan: Re “Gilly hits toxic shame of 9/11” (Nov. 9): Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is right: Letting key parts of the Zadroga Act expire is a moral outrage. Congress must renew the act and make health-care compensation programs like World Trade Center Health Program for 9/11 first responders permanent. As a service provider for the 9/11 community these past 14 years, Tuesday’s Children can attest, first-hand, that the needs of these heroes are growing and go far beyond health care. The number of first responders, and their families, who seek our counseling, career and transition services, family engagement activities and community service programs has expanded exponentially in recent years and now tops 6,000. In fact, first responders now make up more than 60% of our constituency.Founded in the aftermath of Tuesday, Sept. 11 by families directly impacted by the attacks, Tuesday’s Children is committed to helping the first responders until our services are no longer needed. Judging by what we experience, day in and day out, this could be a very long time. Terry Sears, executive director, Tuesday’s Children
The world turned upside down
South Salem, N.Y.: As a veteran and a lifelong student of history, I never thought I would see a period of time where the president of France, a socialist, would be more willing to confront terrorism than the President of the United States. David W. Ondrick
He doesn’t get it
Staten Island: President Obama coldly described the tragedy in Paris as a “setback.” Excuse me, but a setback is defined as “something that reverses or delays the progress of somebody or something.” Can anyone explain the progress this delusional President has made against ISIS? His progress can only be measured by the killing of Jihad John. Other than that, ISIS has not been “contained.” As a matter of fact, it has expanded exponentially. If, God forbid, a similar calamity struck one of our cities, would he be so cold as to say that it was another setback? Martin T. Reda
France, fair-weather friend
Brooklyn: France has been a leader in the movement to isolate Israel. It has helped with the boycott, disinvestment and sanctions movement. Since it began losing its control of areas in the Middle East and Africa, it has been cozying up to the Muslims. Last year a French magazine was attacked by Muslims. Now Paris has been bombed by Muslims, and the French are saying “How could this happen?” Someone should have told the French the fable of the frog and the scorpion. After promising not to sting the frog in return for being carried across the river (as both would drown), the scorpion does just that. As they both drown, the frog asks, “How could you?” The scorpion replies, “Because it is my nature.” The French should remember that in dealing with Muslims. For those who cry: “That’s anti-Muslim,” I suggest you read the Koran, and a true life of Muhammad. I am sure the usual Israel-hating contributors will insult me once again, but that will not change the truth.Judith Durah
Union, N.J.: From the pages of the Daily News to the lips of every politician, “We stand in solidarity with our great ally France.” France — you remember them; or do you? France, the country that told us not to get involved with the Arabs of the Middle East and North Africa, an experience learned the hard way in Algeria. France, the country that inspired Freedom Fries, Freedom Toast and pouring French wine into our gutters because we were determined to invade Iraq. France, which told us, “Don’t get involved in Southeast Asia, it’s a quagmire.” Their Vietnam experience became our Vietnam nightmare. This reminds me of the 1960s folk refrain: “When will we ever learn?” Louis Alt
Send them back to fight
Bronx: Now that President Obama has all but emptied out Guantanamo Bay, why don’t we utilize the space to provide basic military training to adult male Syrian refugees? After training, deploy them back to Syria to fight for their country. Ed Young
Island Park, L.I.: As a retired NYPD intelligence detective, I am appalled every morning in Penn Station. I see homeless people laying everywhere, and with the unfortunate terrorist activity in Paris, I see Amtrak officers leaning on walls, on their phones and every morning at 6:30, I see one particular female officer with a large cup of coffee in her hand while on her cell phone. Officer, you need to be more alert and show the pedestrians that you take some pride in your work! George Nancy
Baldwin, L.I.: Voicer Bill Jimenez says that billionaires should donate money to pay for a water pipeline from the Mississippi to the drought-stricken West Coast. What makes Jimenez think that the people of the Midwest would allow their water to be stolen and given to areas that should never have been developed in the first place? Robert Nielsen
Untangle it please
Smithtown, L.I.: Juan Gonzalez did nothing to investigate whether the allegations of racial bias on the part of University of Missouri administrators had any legitimacy (“Minority student athletes flex new muscle,” column, Nov. 12). Gonzalez just pointed out the money behind college sports and encouraged this type of bullying behavior, contrasting it with his days of protest at Columbia University and seemingly getting satisfaction. But not everyone cares about college sports — and some people do like to know the true story. Andrew Ross
Falling quality of life
Manhattan: Tuesday, while walking my 3-year-old daughter to art class at 4:30 p.m., I saw a homeless woman in a wheelchair aggressively panhandling, benches full of homeless, and three men pouring alcohol into red cups — all within a block of the W. 72nd St. subway station. In our neighborhood in the West 60s, there are six homeless people who are now regularly sleeping on the streets who weren’t there before August. Something massive and scary is happening and we have an incompetent leader who has proven himself totally unable to address the quality of life issues in our city. Mayor de Blasio needs to realize that our city does not naturally find itself in homeostasis — any peace and order that exists is the result of a tremendous amount of effort and push back against the chaos that would otherwise exist. Clean streets, good jobs, excellent schools, litter-free — and homeless-free streets — these things don’t just happen. De Blasio needs to get his act together to ensure the city doesn’t fall apart on his watch and we New Yorkers need to be aggressively seeking (and supporting) an alternate candidate to be our next mayor. Elizabeth Carr
Raises for all except seniors
Brooklyn: The politicians will get a raise, the police will get a raise, fast-food workers will get a raise. But seniors on Social Security, no raise for you! Probably just as well; they would most likely squander it on food. Christina Anderson
Brooklyn: Re “Carly’s ‘View’: Show’s liberal crew is biased” (Nov. 2): Joy Behar likened Carly Fiorina’s smile to a Halloween mask. She didn’t comment on what Fiorina said. Behar sounded like the idiot Donald Trump. How could Behar do this? Was it for the laughs? Of course it was. Fiorina probably has more brains than the whole cast of “The View.” Shame on them. Helen Siwinski
Bronx: My husband Jeff and I really like the comic strip “Mutts.” It’s funny, heartwarming, informative and totally enjoyable. Marsha Kolin
Poverty has no color
Manhattan: To Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner who wrote “Fair pay in union with race justice” (Nov. 10): You forgot that not only blacks live in poverty. All across the country you also have whites working in McDonald’s and Burger Kings earning low wages. You also forgot to mentionthose of us who have to live on low Social Security checks with no raise in sight. We also have to live in poverty. Black, white, etc., it’s a sad thing what has happened in this country. Delma Rosa
Brooklyn: I have asked and haven’t gotten an answer from the Marine Park Golf Course as to why they have no flag flying. They have a three-mast flag pole at the entrance that should fly the three flags: The U.S. flag, the New York State flag and the New York City flag. But no flags wave. Why? NYPD Motorcycle 3 sits right next door with a flag, so why not them? I find that very disrespectful.Jeffrey P. Smith
Kevin Parks has raised $50,000 this year and $200,000 overall for Tuesday’s Children. His quest is personal.
The final few miles of Sunday’s New York City Marathon are going to hurt. Kevin Parks knows that.
But the Middletown native has 50,000 good reasons to finish.
That’s how many dollars Parks raised for this race. All of it will benefit Tuesday’s Children, a New York-based recovery organization for those impacted by a traumatic loss. It was formed in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which took place on a Tuesday.
Those attacks claimed the life of his father, Bob Parks, who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald at One World Trade Center. Kevin was 14 at the time, just starting his freshman year at Red Bank Catholic.
“Not having a chance to grow up through high school and college with my dad sort of motivated me to try to do things for other people — things I thought he could be proud of,” Kevin said.
In 2010 he called Tuesday’s Children to volunteer. He had no prior ties to the nonprofit, but knew of its mission, which expanded over the years to help not just 9/11 families and first responders, but military families and international communities affected by violence.
“I felt like it was the right time,” said the 28-year-old Parks, who works for a hedge fund in Manhattan. “I was ready to be more open, telling my story to other people. I wanted to give back to a cause, and obviously they’ve done a lot for families and individuals.”
In six years, he has raised $200,000 for his New York marathons. On Sunday he will look to break his personal-best time of 2 hours and 59 minutes, which he set in April’s Boston Marathon. That’s a fine effort over 26.2 miles for someone whose training is limited to 30-40 miles per week.
“It’s really motivating, running through the city that was affected by the event that formed the charity I’m raising money for,” he said. “It’s my favorite day of the year. I raise this money and when I start to get tired on mile 22 I’m like, ‘This is no longer about me. Suck it up and finish so you don’t have to report back embarrassing details to people who have donated to you.’”
Terry Sears, executive director of Tuesday’s Children, called Parks “a rock star.” He is co-chair of the organization’s junior board.
“He’s a very successful guy,” Sears said. “Not only has he not missed a beat despite the fact that his family was impacted by 9/11, when he lost his dad, but he’s used that as a platform to show people how much you can overcome.”
In addition to raising money, Parks mentors a 14-year-old from Monmouth County who was born just one week after his father died in the 9/11 attacks. He sees the young man, whose name is Rodney, once a month. They exchange text messages regularly.
“Tuesday’s Children, their method is long-term healing. It’s just, ‘We’re here to support,’” Parks explained. “That’s what I try to do for Rodney. We have an unfortunate and unspoken bond, but we both know we share that. If we need to go into greater detail, we can. I support him just by being there.”
To donate to Kevin Parks’ New York City Marathon fundraiser for Tuesday’s Children, visit www.crowdrise.com/tuesdayschildrennyc2015/fundraiser/kevinparks
To learn more about Tuesday’s Children, visit www.tuesdayschildren.org.
How You Can Still Help 9/11 Victims, Family Members
These groups are still honoring victims and helping families 14 years after the attacks.
Enable Victims Of Terrorism Worldwide To Connect
Established to address the needs of children who lost parents after 9/11,Tuesday’s Children has now expanded its mission to support communities and young people affected by terror from all over the world. In addition to providing mentoring and wellness programs to 9/11 families, the organization now also brings together surviving children and young adults to support one another.
Over the summer, a group of 60 young people — which included a young woman whose father was murdered in an attack in Saudi Arabia and a woman whose guardian was killed in a bus explosion in Kenya –- partook in a weeklong conflict resolution seminar in Pennsylvania. The curriculum teaches peacebuilding and encourages positive community action.
Learn more about Tuesday’s Children and what you can do here.