Ocean City Remembers a Local Hero of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

first_imgMembers of the St. Augustine Prep Men’s Chorus, directed by Matt Wolf, sing the National Anthem to open the ceremony. By Donald WittkowskiAs the horrors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks began to unfold around him, insurance executive Rick Blood urged his co-workers to evacuate their office on the 105th floor of the World Trade Center’s South Tower in New York.Blood, who served as a volunteer fire marshal for his company, Aon Corp., was last seen on Sept. 11, 2001, on the 78th floor of the South Tower while trying to lead a group of people to safety, after a hijacked jetliner slammed into the skyscraper and set it ablaze.His body was never found in the building’s rubble. Although Blood was among the nearly 3,000 people killed in the 9/11 attacks, his family later learned of his heroic deeds from five co-workers who credited him with saving their lives.On Monday evening, Blood’s sister publicly shared the tragic, yet inspiring, final moments of her brother’s life in keynote remarks during Ocean City’s memorial service marking the 16th anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack ever on U.S. soil.“I’ve wanted to tell my brother’s story for 16 years,” said Becky Wynne, a resident of Virginia Beach, Va., whose family spends their summer vacations in Ocean City in Blood’s memory.Becky Wynne, of Virginia Beach, Va., pays an emotional tribute to her brother, Rick Blood, who died in the 9/11 attacks while leading others to safety.Wiping away tears, the 52-year-old Wynne told hundreds of people at the ceremony that her brother’s attempts to save others did not surprise her and the rest of her family. Blood, after all, was a strong-willed leader who always protected his family, she recounted.“He was always the word of wisdom, the caretaker and the ultimate big brother,” she said.Blood was just 38 years old when he died, leaving behind his wife, Kris, a son, Michael, who was 3 years old at the time, and his 1-year-old daughter, Madeline. His wedding was held just one day after the World Trade Center was attacked the first time by terrorists, in the 1993 bombing, Wynne said.Although Blood grew up in Williamsburg, Va., his heart belonged to New York City. As a teenager, he hung subway maps on his bedroom wall and played a New York version of Monopoly, according to his obituary published in the New York Times two weeks after his death.“He would say that New York was where the action was and that’s where he wanted to be,” Wynne recalled.Blood also loved Ocean City, a place where his parents would take the family on summer vacations when the children were growing up, Wynne noted. She said it was her brother who revived the tradition of Ocean City vacations after the family had stopped for a while.Now, Wynne and other family members have continued that tradition in his memory. They have missed their Ocean City vacation only one year, in 2001, after his death. The family also has honored Blood with a memorial plaque attached to a bench on Ocean City’s Boardwalk.“Rick loved Ocean City as much as he loved New York City,” Wynne told the crowd.Wearing their dress uniforms and white gloves, Ocean City firefighters stand at attention during the ceremony, along with police officers.Wynne was given a standing ovation when she finished the tribute to her brother. After the ceremony, tearful well-wishers approached her and gave her hugs.“I don’t know you, but you did a beautiful job,” one woman said to Wynne in remarks that were echoed by others.The 9/11 ceremony included other emotional moments. During his remarks, Mayor Jay Gillian announced the death Monday of Ocean City Housing Authority Commissioner Ed Speitel, a community leader. Gillian said Speitel’s passing was a reminder of just how fragile life can be.“He was one of the kindest souls and kindest men I’ve ever met,” Gillian said.The mayor also used the ceremony to recognize the bravery of first responders in Ocean City and nationwide. More than 400 police officers, firefighters and other emergency workers died in New York on 9/11.The 9/11 ceremony was held on the grounds of Ocean City’s fire station on Sixth Street. Speakers delivered their remarks next to the city’s 9/11 memorial, which features a beam recovered from the charred remains of the World Trade Center.Ocean City Fire Chief Jim Smith revived a firefighting tradition that dates to the 1800s by repeatedly ringing a bell, an act that symbolizes the death of a firefighter in the line of duty. On Monday evening, the bell ringing, known as the “striking of the four fives,” was in honor of the victims of the 9/11 attacks.Ocean City Fire Chief Jim Smith rings a silver bell to honor the victims of the 9/11 attacks.last_img read more

Music On The Mesa Sees Collaborations By Members Of SCI, Robert Randolph, Stringdusters, And More [Photos]

first_imgLoad remaining images Music on the Mesa in Taos, New Mexico, came to close last week, touting their the best line-up yet. The festival transpired over three days on the site of the Taos Mesa Brewing Company and featured artists for over eight hours each day on three stages. Roughly five miles from the quaint town of Taos, the festival site was set among sagebrush with a 360-degree view and the Taos Mountains as the backdrop. Featuring music on the amphitheater, patio, and indoor brewery stages, festival organizers made every attempt to keep the music playing without pause by starting each band on their respective stages as the previous group ended their set. With the long game in mind, they utilized the brewery stage for the hottest part of the day gigs as well as the late night closers as temperatures began to drop.The vibe of Music on the Mesa was without pretense and brought out people of all ages. Arriving on site, attendees were greeted by knowledgeable and friendly volunteers who directed both single day pass holders and those who were in for the long haul. The price for Music on the Mesa’s line-up was ridiculously low at $99 for the early bird and $125 after that. Camping was an option at a mere $20, and patrons were able to come and go as they pleased, as many left the festival grounds during the day for rafting excursions or the therapeutic hot springs of the Rio Grande river gorge. For those looking for more creature comforts, restored vintage Airstreams were also available. The campground itself featured two bonfire sites for after-show festivities and a circus tent erected for late-night picking sessions, advertised and encouraged by the promoters. The walking distance between tents and the venue was no more than five minutes for even the most distant camper. Other amenities included made-to-order options, catering to both vegetarian and the carnivorous, multiple watering stations that were always filled to keep patrons hydrated, and a handful of vendors offering handmade goods, including clothing, art, and instruments. Inaiah Lujan, a self-professed ‘mole snob’ from Colorado’s Haunted Windchimes, declared the pork mole tacos worthy of his palette. Of course, let us not forget the beer! Offering their full listing, the brewery delivered on service and quality, keeping lines short and patrons returning for more.Featuring some of the best in Americana and jam, promoters enlisted a lineup that even the bigger festivals would be envious of and, as if the roster wasn’t enough, each act certainly brought their best to the table. From start to finish, it seemed as though no group needed a warm-up tune or proper sound check to get going, bringing their “A” game from the first notes of each set. As if it couldn’t be better, the innumerable amount of sit-ins kept the smiles rolling. On night one, members of Elephant Revival sat in with local boy Ry Taylor, the first act of the festival, lending vocal and percussive accompaniment. Biko Casini joined on-the-rise bluegrassers Gipsy Moon and a portion of the following set of Elephant Revival alongside Omar Al’Tbal of Gipsy Moon. Later in their set, Elephant Revival also invited Mackenzie Page and Matt Cantor of Gipsy Moon to assist on vocal duties. Drew Emmitt’s conglomerate of Leftover Salmon and the Infamous Stringdusters turned into a familial jam when Drew pulled his own son to the stage and Gipsy Moon’s Salmon spawn Silas Herman.The following day saw Austin powerhouse Patrice Pike invited to guest with Robert Randolph on both lead vocals and drums for a total spiritual meltdown. The closing band of the second evening, regional act Last To Know, certainly received the biggest and best surprise by far the entire weekend. Halfway through their set, Robert Randolph and the entire Family Band joined the stage. This extensive guesting was more than likely an effort to make up for the sound issues Robert Randolph’s set experienced on the amphitheater stage, derailing the focus of the band. The set continued past the point of alcohol service and no one seemed to mind. The set was finally called due to exhaustion and smiles carried weary patrons and players off to bed. For most, the closing day held the most potential for mind-bending sit-ins and certainly did not disappoint.Railroad Earth treated the audience to an unexpected soundcheck jam that was more of great first set then a test run. Although Andy Goessling was absent for medical reasons, uber-talented hired gun Erik Yates stepped up to the plate and the band progressed with a misstep. For their main set, most of The Cheese Dusters, including Bill Nershi and Michael Travis of String Cheese Incident and Andy Hall and Chris Pandolfi of the Infamous Stringdusters, were invited to join in for the last tunes of an already festive session. The favor was returned when Tim Carbone was summoned to join The Cheese Dusters, potentially one of the greatest one-off collaborations of the summer, which included the aforementioned musicians plus the legendary John Cowan of New Grass Revival.What made Music on the Mesa stand apart is that it still seems to be off the radar, especially in this region. Although the turn-out size was perfect, the expectation of greater numbers from the Jam Nation, especially from the Colorado neighbors, fell short. The patrons truly seemed to be there more for the music than the party, although plenty enjoyed both. The festival vibe appealed to all walks of life and many families were seen with kids in tow, including noise-cancelling headphone-sporting infants and toddlers. Surprisingly, in the age of liability, security was present, but very toned down. On each of the nights, children could be seen hoisted up on any of three stages and left there to enjoy the music without intervention. Although it would be hard to top the 2017 line-up, enthusiasm expressed by the promoters revealed that this weekend of magic was not a one-time thing and that next year they would try to outdo themselves. Going to the larger festivals might provide more of everything, but if someone is looking to experience something different at a reasonable cost without the lines and headaches, this southwest secret might be the destination that delivers.You can check out photos from Music on the Mesa below, courtesy of the author, Jake Sudek.Music On The Mesa | 2017 | Photos by Jake Sudeklast_img read more

Women of Troy find success in two-game weekend

first_imgRedshirt sophomore midfielder Savannah DeMelo recorded two shots on net in each game over the weekend. (Tal Volk | Daily Trojan)The women’s soccer team remained undefeated after claiming two hard-earned victories against Missouri and San Diego over the weekend.The Trojans faced the Tigers on Friday and claimed a 2-0 victory. The Women of Troy had a number of shots in the first half, but were only able to find the back of the net  courtesy of redshirt sophomore attacking midfielder Savannah DeMelo. The Trojans continued to push on in the second half with a number of shots, and managed to score from a beautiful chip by junior defensive midfielder Jalen Woodward from a corner kick.Woodward linked play from the back to the midfield seamlessly and won just about every 50-50 ball she faced on defense against the Tigers.“Really, I’m more of a defensive minded player. So that’s my first job and my first priority,” Woodward said. “But I think that in games like this it allows me space and time to get forward in those opportunities and moments when we do have cover and get the ball forward. I can get in on the attack as well.”While the Trojans contained most of the possession throughout the game, they had difficulty breaking down Missouri’s defense. The Tigers were playing extremely deep with five defenders and two defensive midfielders behind the ball. Missouri did not look to attack the Trojans at all, instead, it looked to contain USC’s high-powered offense. Missouri’s “park the bus” tactics proved difficult for the Trojans at times, as they were having trouble creating space to have faster, more dangerous movement for most of the game. While they created a lot of shots and opportunities, many of them weren’t from excellent spots in the box.“We just have to play faster and move the ball faster,” head coach Keidane McAlpine said. “We have to force teams to come out and defend us. And at moments we did that. We moved the ball well, we were aggressive and we were assertive. We kept them moving and trying to find us and it was great. But then we slowed our tempo throughout the game and allowed them sometimes to feel confident about themselves, so that’s the frustration.”On Sunday, the Women of Troy had a tough time against San Diego, coming back twice to claim the victory at home. The Trojans started down 1-0 after 10 minutes of play, conceding for the first time in over 440 minutes of play. Redshirt junior forward Natalie Jacobs soon came to the rescue, scoring a header from a cross from sophomore forward Tara McKeown. The Trojans then scored another goal six minutes later to cut the lead to 2-1. However, freshman forward Penelope Hocking beat the keeper after a nice long through ball from senior defender Ally Prisock to level the score 2-2 at halftime.The Trojans were more composed in the second half and eventually claimed the victory courtesy of senior forward Leah Pruitt. Pruitt started the play by sending a nice through ball to Hocking from around the halfway line. She then quickly darted into the penalty box and found the back of the net from a cross by Hocking. It was a great heads-up play by the senior which was rewarded with a goal. Her hustle and great positional sense proved to be the decisive factor for the Trojans against USD as they claimed a narrow 3-2 victory.The Trojans will look to remain undefeated as they take on Long Beach State in their next two matchups this weekend.last_img read more

Jovic: “I am ready to assume the consequences of my actions”

first_imgDifferences with Spain: “As I said before, becoming aware of isolation was not a problem for me. I received a document that said that I would be isolated for the next two weeks and that we would be in contact through telephone lines. But that document did not say that I could not go to the pharmacy or the store. I certainly planned to be in solitary because of the club’s order. “What you do during your isolation: “I try to do something different every day because it is not easy to be indoors all the time, especially because I am used to demanding daily workouts. That is why I train in the apartment every day to be ready when this situation ends. Also, I watch movies and series, I watch various shows, but I also spend time on social media. I’ve always loved board games, so we play a different one every night. “Your family’s reaction: “They know me well and know that I would never knowingly put someone in danger. This was all a shock to both me and them, but as always, they support me unconditionally. I get in touch with them every day and they try to cheer me up. The same goes for Sofia, who is isolated with me. “What will you do after isolation?: “First of all, I can’t wait to see my son and give him a hug. I came here for him first, but the situation is such that I can’t see him either, so it will be the first thing I do. Also, I would love to spend some time with the family. I would also like to help my fellow citizens. I also cannot wait to go back to the field and continue with my club where we left off. “Will it help your country?: “Of course I will help, I have helped before and I will not stop now. Just because I don’t publish when, who or how I help doesn’t mean I don’t. It seems to me that more humane people don’t help others under the spotlights and when others are watching. “Controversy and the selection of Serbia: “Of course it will not affect. I am always there for my country and national team and the most important thing is that I have the desire to play with them.” Quarantine was skipped: “I broke the isolation because I was not aware of the rules. I know it is hard to believe, but it is true. In the country where I come from, and even in Italy, as far as we can see on the Internet, anyone in quarantine can get out throwing trash once a day, going to a pharmacy or a store. I thought the same rules applied here. It’s my fault for not doing better research, but I think it’s important that they explain the conditions correctly, especially for people who they come from abroad. My intention was not to blame the authorities for my ignorance, I was aware that I was isolating myself, for which there is a document that proves it. My ignorance was that I did not know how I should behave in isolation. Once again I insist that it was because of the conditions I came from. Of course, I am ready to assume the consequences of my actions. “ Luka Jovic has given an interview to the Serbian portal Objektiv, in which he goes out to give explanations for his arrival in Serbia from Spain and all the controversy surrounding his figure in recent times. The Real Madrid striker assumes his mistake after skipping the quarantine demands in Serbia and places himself at the disposal of the authorities if they consider that isolation has been skipped.last_img read more