Queens' Premiere Flag Waver
Long before the tragic terrorism that hit the World Trade Center, somewhere over the Grand Central Parkway on a hot summer morning was a man adorned with 12 American Flags, including two waving to greet the traffic.
Some have named him Screwey Louey. "Sometimes I say nothing but my name is Luis," he said with a Spanish accent.
Luis is a short, middle-aged Hispanic man who wears oversized red glasses made for clowns.
"I love America," said Luis, an over-the-top patriot that evades questions on his origins. "I live anywhere."
Luis is also wearing black gloves and a white medical jacket under the flags. Signs on Luis read, "Dont Get Angry For Nothing- Happy Stomach Smiling- My Happy Pill Smiling."
At about 53", Luis is an imposing figure, as he stands draped in Old Glory on a pedestrian bridge over the parkway by Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. "This is my big office," Luis proclaimed as he looked down at the traffic in both directions. "I call them my bosses."
When he waved his flags, a speeding Mack truck honked. "It means they have the fastest eye." He said there are no accidents when hes around and explained that he wakes drivers up. Luis love for the highway is boundless as he spouts out images "Roads, without them we are empty. We are rivers without water."
Why does he do it? To spread happiness, which is a full-time job for Luis who arrives on the scene at six in the morning and switches location frequently.
When asked what he does for July 4, the mysterious but happy Luis said, "Its a government party, I dont go out."NYC Reconstruction Czar
What prominent New Yorker has a great office space, high name recognition, and astronomical favorable ratings in the City and is looking for a job?
New York States motto, Excelsior, means ever upward. And rebuilding lower Manhattan is just what the City will be doing in the months ahead. Rudy Giuliani and Commishes Bernie Kerik and Tom Von Essen get very high marks for crisis management and instilling confidence during rescue and recovery efforts. But with the exception of new sports facilities, rebuilding the City skyline and infrastructure has not been a high priority in recent years.
As the dust begins to settle and the rubble clears from the World Trade Center destruction, many New Yorkers, Americans, and others worldwide are thinking of rebuilding downtown, as a symbol of renewal and strength. Comments on the internet suggest that European countries would foot the bill to rebuild one tower. While its too early to dream of what form any new structures or downtown complex might take, the time is right to think about who might lead the massive reconstruction effort.
With Rudy leaving office in January, Congress has quietly expressed concern that the massive project will be in the hands of an untested leader. So who is better suited to the task of sharing our pain and rebuilding New York than former President Bill Clinton?
With his legendary fundrais-ing skills, Clinton could gather money from international contributors, bankers and governments to help underwrite downtown New Yorks reconstruction. His managerial experience would be invaluable in coordinating what will surely be a long, complex and very high profile undertaking in the media capital of the world. And his charisma and leadership would inspire all well, almost all.
As he searches for his calling in the next phase of his life, there is no more perfect match than naming Bill Clinton the Reconstruction Czar for the World Trade Center site. This and the next NYC Mayor could really leave their mark on our City.Foreshadowing
At 6 a.m. on September 11th, terrorists prepared to wreak havoc on New York City and the world by slamming hijacked commuter jets into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, forcing the collapse of the Twin Towers. Apparently armed with nothing but box cutters and plastic knives, the evil men prepared to board planes and voluntarily end their lives for "the cause," taking thousands of innocent victims with them.
On September 11th, the New York skyline and American life was changed forever. The deadly terrorist attack was arguably the worst disaster in the history of the United States, with about five thousand people presumed dead.
At 6 a.m., while the Towers were still standing and unsuspecting New Yorkers got ready to go to work - some at the doomed Trade Center - the History Channel presented its daily morning show "Classroom," which documents different historical events.
There was eerie foreshadowing on "Classroom" the day of the Twin Towers untimely death. The topic on the show that morning was Pearl Harbor, the event that forced the United States into World War II, and the event that just about everyone compared to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
"This is a day that will live in infamy," President Roosevelt said.
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