I had the honor of making a very special bracelet at the request of Loisanne in memory of her husband who lost his life during the 9-11 tragedy. While I made this bracelet, I felt a lot of sadness, but I also felt a lot of hope. This bracelet really tugs at my heart more than any of the others.
This is the start of this bracelet's special journey.
This special bracelet arrived at my home in Lakewood, NJ, unaware of the positive energy and good karma it was going to spread to so many people. When I unwrapped it from its blue tissue paper, I was simply awestruck by its beauty. It said so many things to me – you see, my husband was killed in Tower 2 of the World Trade Center.
Before its trip into New York, Lester and I took the bracelet to Puerto Rico on a vacation we had already planned. I wanted to share it with some of my friends who lived in Rincon, where our condo is located. The photo below is a picture of me standing in front of the welcome sign: Bienvenidos A Rincon.
On our first day in Rincon, we visited our friend Troy who works at the Calypso Café, a popular “surfer” hangout. Then we went to the Villa Cofresi Hotel to see our friend Naida who works at the tiki hut alongside the beach. We shared the bracelet with some of the patrons at both places. Everyone loved it and the story behind the traveling bracelets!
On day two the bracelet and I took a “breather” at the little stone bus stop on Route 413. 413 is known as the Road to Happiness because most of the beaches and restaurants are located along that road. Across the street from the bus stop is my favorite bakery. It makes delicious pastries and also serves hot lunches of Puerto Rican cuisine. The bakeries in Puerto Rico are also frequented by the “locals” for items such as groceries and toiletries… they even sell packaged goods, or liquor! However, if you drive a few miles to the main highway, you can still find Wal-Mart, Home Depot, etc. I prefer staying in town with the townspeople, enjoying their relaxed, carefree way of living.
Later on in the week, the 911 Memorial bracelet went with Lester and me to El Faro, which means lighthouse. It is located at the tip of Rincon. The original lighthouse was destroyed by a tsunami in 1918, which claimed many lives. The lighthouse was rebuilt in 1921, and is now surrounded by a beautiful park. In the picture below, you can see the bracelet sitting on a post, with the body of water known as the Mona Passage behind it.
As we were getting ready to leave El Faro, I met a gentleman from Cuba. I showed him the 911 bracelet. He said he never saw such a beautiful thing as this to convey the devastation the United States suffered on that day, but at the same time expressed the feeling of hope for more positive days that would be forthcoming. He was a very wise man. We discussed the state of affairs the world is in right now and how we prayed the bracelet’s message for peace was not too far off in the future.
December 28, 2012
Today my family and I went into New York to pay our respects to the 911 Memorial which is still under construction. To this day I still have a hard time believing the Towers are gone. They stood over 1,360 feet tall and had 110 floors each. I had to pass by them every day while they were being built. They were so majestic. It took 15 years to complete the Towers and a time span of 102 minutes for them to come down. Almost 3,000 people lost their lives that day. So sad…..
The “new” World Trade Center will include a spiral of several buildings surrounding two pools of water which are set in the footprints of Towers 1 and 2. The names of the victims are inscribed in bronze parapets around the pools. The bracelet visited my husband’s inscription (Michael D. Diehl) as shown in the picture below. Michael was 48 years old and the proud father of our two children.
The tallest building in this spiral will reach a height of 1,776 feet, which will make it the tallest building in the United States. I stood proudly in front of it with the 911 bracelet on my arm. This will be a new building for new hopes and dreams in the days to come.
To end our trip in the City, we stopped at St. Patrick’s Cathedral to see the Nativity. Then the bracelet was whisked one more time over to Rockefeller City to see the Christmas tree. The tree was chosen from Flanders, NJ. It was beautiful!
This concludes our journey of the 911 Memorial bracelet. I hope all of you enjoyed reading about our travels, and the positive energy and good karma it extended to all.
Written by Loisanne Diehl
Surviving Spouse of Michael D. Diehl
Tower 2, World Trade Center