Magic in the Big Apple

NEW YORK – A “Girls-Getaway Trip” to New York City this summer included five 1965 graduates from Minot Model High School, and one 1964 graduate from Bishop Ryan. Sherry Gorde Savin, Linda Carlson Olson, Cheryl Nettelton Guidinger, Sandy Ellwein Johnson, Jan Ellingson Weller and Winnie Gibb Rovig visited the Big Apple. They all attended Minot State College together and have kept in touch since then. These friends took time to promote the Magic City by wearing the “Why Not Minot, North Dakota” t-shirts.

A man saw the shirts and stopped Olson to tell her he had read all about Minot, the Bakken oilfields, and all about the numerous job opportunities. Another said he had also heard about all the work available but the lack of any housing. Olson was quick to inform him of all the newly built extended stay motels, apartments and new homes that had been built in Minot since the boom started.

These girls had an amazing time in New York City, staying in a hotel just one-half block from Times Square, where the lights are on all night long, with huge movie size screens and massive billboards. They took several guided tours on the red double-decker buses through Upper and Lower Manhattan, and a night tour to see the lights of NYC, as well as the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. They toured Rockefeller Center where they watched a film about its construction.

The girls saw two Broadway Plays: “The Newsies” and “Mamma Mia!” They also saw the Radio City Music Hall where they were entertained by watching the stars walk down the Red Carpet for the Tony Awards.

The girls rode the Staten Island Ferry where they saw the New York City skyline from the water. They also saw the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The most amazing places they saw were the Twin Towers Memorials, the New Freedom Tower and St. Paul’s Chapel. The girls said a big lump was in their throat and tears came as they read the names on the two memorials. It was a time of remembering and honoring the 2,983 men, women, and children killed in the horrific attack on Sept. 11, 2001, while praying for their families.

St. Paul’s Chapel influenced them the most. It was built before the Revolutionary War and was miraculously unscathed after the World Trade Centers fell behind it. George Washington worshiped in this very chapel, and his name is engraved on a pew.

For nearly a year after the 2001 attack, St. Paul’s Chapel served as a relief mission for recovery workers at Ground Zero. Over 14,000 volunteers worked 12-hour shifts to provide solace, comfort, and care for 2,000 workers each day. Pastors, nurses, doctors, and food providers were there each day to assist in any way they could. Many workers took naps on the pews after they were cared for. St. Paul’s Chapel became the “Spiritual Home of Ground Zero.” For many, it was the first time they had ever volunteered, and they discovered that one individual’s efforts could make a difference.