Rachel Uchitel’s visit to Ground Zero is too suspicious for me for two reasons:
Was it before or after she found out Tiger Woods had moved to our area that she decided it would be a good idea to exploit Ground Zero for her own fame and fortune?
…and right before the 9th anniversary of 9/11? Why not show support and go with the family of your almost in-laws on the day of?
In an effort to defend her actions, Rachel Uchitel, the now infamous Tiger Woods mistress and former paramour who broke up probably the cutest family I’ve ever seen released a statement:
“Who the f— are people to be talking about me?” Uchitel told theÂ New York Post. “Until they go through what I went through, living with a guy and being engaged to him and having that person dead an hour after waking up next to him. “If people think I’m milking something for the benefit of getting on TV or getting more well-known, I’m already well-known.”
Except that dear Rachel, your 15 minutes were up long ago.
Is this an attempt at public relations triage for us to forget your What is with your timing? Visiting the site right before 9/11? Your almost father-in-law had said during the Tiger Woods debacle that he had not even heard from you since your fiance was buried.
Actions speak louder than words, and your actions sound like nails on a chalkboard.
Exposing yourself to a national audience in your healing process is tantamount to placing shards of glass on an open wound.
Dr. Drew is also to blame.
According to reports, this idea came to them during a pre-taping interview with the Oprah Winfrey show. Thank goodness Harpo Productions had the right mind frame to leave that segment on the cutting room floor.
Just doesn’t feel right. The whole thing. Maybe my sensitivities are up because it is September.
It’s quite unbelievable that we are embarking on the 9th anniversary of 9/11.
For years after the attacks, I refused to face Ground Zero while passing south on the West Side Highway.
Partially because it pained me to see the area, but also because I wanted to remember everything that I loved so much about the Twin Towers. Simple memories, like tasting my first Krispy Kreme donut to meeting my high school sweetheart at the Path station.
This time, the road to the anniversary has been paved in controversy surrounding the Park51 center. The political firestorm has overshadowed the progress and positive rebuilding of our area that so many of us are looking forward to.
So, in light of the anniversaries — We’d like for you to share your memories, pre and post 9/11, thoughts and hopes for our neighborhood as we are moving through its metamorphosis.
We’re looking for pictures and stories from our neighbors and community members in our area. We will post as many as we get! Even if it’s only 1 or 2!
This site is as much yours as it is ours here at BatteryParkCity.com and it would be an honor to help share some of your stories with all our readers on the site.
To submit your shared stories, pictures and thoughts please reach out to us:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a dinner at Gracie Mansion in celebration of Ramadan. We’ve included a transcript and video of his dinner speech:
â€œWell, good evening, and Ramadan Kareem, and I want to welcome everyone to our annual Ramadan Iftar at Gracie Mansion.
â€œWe call this â€˜The Peopleâ€™s House,â€™ because it belongs to all 8.4 million New Yorkers who call this city home. And people of every race and religion, every background and belief. And we celebrate that diversity here in this house with gatherings like this one.
â€œAnd for me, whether itâ€™s marking St. Patrickâ€™s Day or Harlem Week or any other occasion, these gatherings are always a powerful reminder of what makes our city so strong and our country so great.
â€œYou know, America is a nation of immigrants, and I think itâ€™s fair to say no place opens its doors more widely to the world than New York City. America is the land of opportunity, and I think itâ€™s fair to say no place offers its residents more opportunity to pursue their dreams than New York City. And America is a beacon of freedom, and I think itâ€™s fair to say no place defends those freedoms more fervently, or has been attacked for those freedoms more ferociously, than New York City.
â€œIn recent weeks, a debate has arisen that I believe cuts to the core of who we are as a city and a country. The proposal to build a mosque and community center in Lower Manhattan has created a national conversation on religion in America, and since Ramadan offers a time for reflection, I wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on that very subject.
â€œThere are people of good will on both sides of the debate, and I would hope that everyone can carry on a dialogue in a civil and respectful way. In fact, I think most people now agree on two fundamental issues: First, that Muslims have a constitutional right to build a mosque in Lower Manhattan and second, that the site of the World Trade Center is hallowed ground. And the only question we face is: how do we honor that hallowed ground?
â€œThe wounds of 9/11 are still very much with us. And I know that is true for Talat Hamdani, who is here with us tonight, and who lost her son, Salman Hamdani, on 9/11. There will always be a hole in our hearts for the men and women who perished that day.
â€œAfter the attacks, some argued â€“ including some of those who lost loved ones â€“ that the entire site should be reserved for a memorial. But we decided â€“ together, as a city â€“ that the best way to honor all those we lost, and to repudiate our enemies, was to build a moving memorial and to rebuild the site.
â€œWe wanted the site to be an inspiring reminder to the world that this city will never forget our dead and never stop living. We vowed to bring Lower Manhattan back â€“ stronger than ever â€“ as a symbol of our defiance and I think itâ€™s fair to say we have. Today, it is more of a community neighborhood than ever before, with more people than ever living, working, playing and praying there.
â€œBut if we say that a mosque or a community center should not be built near the perimeter of the World Trade Center site, we would compromise our commitment to fighting terror with freedom.
â€œWe would undercut the values and principles that so many heroes died protecting. We would feed the false impressions that some Americans have about Muslims. We would send a signal around the world that Muslim Americans may be equal in the eyes of the law, but separate in the eyes of their countrymen. And we would hand a valuable propaganda tool to terrorist recruiters, who spread the fallacy that America is at war with Islam.
â€œIslam did not attack the World Trade Center â€“ Al-Qaeda did. To implicate all of Islam for the actions of a few who twisted a great religion is unfair and un-American. Today we are not at war with Islam â€“ we are at war with Al-Qaeda and other extremists who hate freedom.
â€œAt this very moment, there are young Americans â€“ some of them Muslims â€“ standing freedomsâ€™ watch in Iraq and Afghanistan, and around the world. A couple here tonight, Sakibeh and Asaad Mustafa, have children who have served our country overseas and after 9/11, one of them aided in the recovery efforts at Ground Zero. And Iâ€™d like to ask them to stand, so we can show our appreciation. There you go. Thank you.
â€œThe members of our military are men and women at arms â€“ battling for hearts and minds. And their greatest weapon in that fight is the strength of our American values, which have already inspired people around the world. If we do not practice here at home what we preach abroad â€“ if we do not lead by example â€“ we undermine our soldiers. We undermine our foreign policy objectives. And we undermine our national security.
â€œIn a different era, with different international challenges facing the country, President Kennedyâ€™s Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, explained to Congress why it is so important for us to live up to our ideals here at home. Dean Rusk said, â€˜The United States is widely regarded as the home of democracy and the leader of the struggle for freedom, for human rights, for human dignity. We are expected to be the model.â€™
â€œWe are expected to be the model. Nearly a half-century later, his words remain true. In battling our enemies, we cannot rely entirely on the courage of our soldiers or the competence of our diplomats. We all have to do our part.
â€œJust as we fought communism by showing the world the power of free markets and free elections, so must we fight terrorism by showing the world the power of religious freedom and cultural tolerance. Freedom and tolerance will always defeat tyranny and terrorism â€“ and thatâ€™s the great lesson of the 20th century, and we must not abandon it here in the 21st.
â€œNow I understand the impulse to find another location for the mosque and community center. I understand the pain of those who are motivated by loss too terrible to contemplate. And there are people of every faith â€“ including, perhaps, some in this room â€“ who are hoping that a compromise will end the debate.
â€œBut it wonâ€™t. The question will then become, how big should the â€˜no-mosque zoneâ€™ be around the World Trade Center site? There is already a mosque four blocks away. Should it be moved?
â€œThis is a test of our commitment to American values. We have to have the courage of our convictions. We must do what is right, not what is easy. And we must put our faith in the freedoms that have sustained our great country for more than 200 years.
â€œNow, I know that many in this room are disturbed and dispirited by the debate. But itâ€™s worth keeping some perspective on the matter. The first colonial settlers came to these shores seeking religious liberty and the founding fathers wrote a constitution that guaranteed it. They made sure that in this country government would not be permitted to choose between religions or favor one over another.
â€œNonetheless, it was not so long ago that Jews and Catholics had to overcome stereotypes and build bridges to those who viewed them with suspicion and less than fully American. In 1960, many Americans feared that John F. Kennedy would impose papal law on America. But through his example, he taught us that piety to a minority religion is no obstacle to patriotism. It is a lesson I think that needs updating today, and it is our responsibility to accept the challenge.
â€œBefore closing, let me just add one final thought: Imam Rauf, who is now overseas promoting America and American values, has been put under a media microscope. Each of us may strongly agree or strongly disagree with particular statements that he has made. And thatâ€™s how it should be â€“ this is New York City.
â€œAnd while a few of his statements have received a lot of attention, I would like to read you something that he said that you may not have heard. At an interfaith memorial service for the martyred journalist Daniel Pearl, Imam Rauf said, quote, â€˜If to be a Jew means to say with all one’s heart, mind, and soul: Shma` Yisrael, Adonai Elohenu Adonai Ehad; Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One, not only today I am a Jew, I have always been one.â€™
He then continued to say, â€˜If to be a Christian is to love the Lord our God with all of my heart, mind and soul, and to love for my fellow human being what I love for myself, then not only am I a Christian, but I have always been one.â€™
â€œIn that spirit, let me declare that we in New York are Jews and Christians and Muslims, and we always have been. And above all of that, we are Americans, each with an equal right to worship and pray where we choose. There is nowhere in the five boroughs of New York City that is off limits to any religion.
â€œBy affirming that basic idea, we will honor Americaâ€™s values and we will keep New York the most open, diverse, tolerant, and free city in the world. Thank you and enjoy.â€
President Obama finally broke his silence on the Park51 mosque and community center and stipulates that Muslims are within their right to build a place of worship during a State Dinner at the White House celebrating the Muslim holiday Ramadan:
â€œLet me be clear: as a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country,” President Obama said in the State Dining Room. “That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable.
We must all recognize and respect the sensitivities surrounding the development of Lower Manhattan,” he said. “The 9/11 attacks were a deeply traumatic event for our country. The pain and suffering experienced by those who lost loved ones is unimaginable. So I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground.
Our enemies respect no freedom of religion. Al Qaedaâ€™s cause is not Islam â€“ it is a gross distortion of Islam. These are not religious leaders â€“ these are terrorists who murder innocent men, women and children. In fact, al Qaeda has killed more Muslims than people of any other religion â€“ and that list of victims includes innocent Muslims who were killed on 9/11.
It is a testament to the wisdom of our founders that America remains deeply religious â€“ a nation where the ability of peoples of different faiths to coexist peacefully and with mutual respect for one another stands in contrast to the religious conflict that persists around the globe.”
Nearly 24 hours later, after GOP scrutiny attacked on his comments, President Obama made a second statement while vacationing on the Florida coast:
“I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there.”
What do you think about President Obama’s comments on Park51?
Researchers conducted two studies based on children living in Lower Manhattan who were directly exposed to 9/11. The exposure included being a direct witness to the attacks a well as living in homes where their mothers were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.Â In this first clinical study, preschool children exposed to 9/11 were found to be directly vulnerable to behavioral problems.
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services and the Bronx Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center were part of the overall research team conducting the first study including the analysis of 100 moms and their children — directly exposed to the 9/11 attacks.
In a second study involved the analysis of adolescents and their mothers in our area. That study found that even a year after 9/11 both mothers and children reported elevated reports of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
The following research team included the University of Michigan, New York University and the Austin Independent School District, as well as the Sesame Workshop.
According to an article on Sify.com, “Direct exposure to the events of 9/11 played a small, but significant role in explaining the severity of mental health symptoms.”
The Lower Manhattan families were part of a recruitment outreach program of those affected by the attacks from March 2003 through December 2005.
The findings indicate the need to further understand the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and the parent child relationship.