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Assisting with the Hero Portraits September 11 Memorial

911 1This past Thursday September 8 on the corner of Central Park South and 6th Ave, the Hero Portraits September 11th Memorial was unveiled. It was the culmination of a two year effort on behalf of the Hero Portraits organization led by chairman and founder Darryl Lynn in honor of this year’s 10th anniversary of 9/11. The memorial, a 9 ft high 11ft wide structure in the shape of an American flag, held the portraits of first responders to the attack on the twin towers on September 11th 2001.

FedEx came on board to the project, eight weeks ago, when Darryl, in need of assistance from outside organizations sent a letter to over 300 corporations and institutions throughout the country. He had invested over $200,000 of personal funds towards the project, and could not afford to finish the project unless he received outside assistance. Within a week a letter from FedEx CEO and Chairman Fred Smith had arrived. In it, was a promise that FedEx would provide all in-kind shipping of the memorial as well as day of event support for the unveiling. 

At Thursday’s unveiling after the Honor Guard’s presentation of the flag, 9 year-old Ansley Skipper (daughter of FedEx team member Monica Skipper) led the crowd in a pitch, perfect Pledge of Allegiance.  Darryl thanked everyone in attendance who made the event possible noting FedEx in a heartfelt thank-you: “No words can express the gratitude we at Hero Portraits have for FedEx, out of everyone we had asked FedEx was the only one willing to step up. Thank you to every FedEx team member who made this possible.”

After the memorial was unveiled, audience members gathered around its massive base, reaching out to identify family members who had been the first to arrive and subsequently perish in the tragedy. This powerful moment was a testament to the importance of the work of Darryl Lynn and the Hero Portraits project, and an honor for FedEx to play even a small part in commemorating those who died for all of our freedom, no words can express the gratitude we have for these unflinchingly courageous men and women.

Comments (2) 

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The memorial was displayed at the Memphis Air Show September 17 and 18 after it's debut in NYC. The location of the memorial tent could not be more perfect – everyone has to pass it on their way to the main area of the show. So a lot of people stopped. Stared. Took pictures… and some ‘kodak’ moments, though I don’t think I would… - Thee 10-year old boys stopped by. The ‘leader of the pack’ telling the other two – “hey, let’s kneel to honor our heroes” and all three knelt. Precious moment.. and a lump on my throat. - A soldier who looked at every picture. Standing still, examining each one… then a couple of tears came down his face. - An older lady, who touched a couple of the pictures, bowed her head for a few seconds, then did the sign of the cross. - A couple, who must have been from out of town, recognized one of the photos, gasped, then took a picture of the square. - A small child, maybe 6, saw the picture of a dog, with a sad face asked her mommy, “Did the dog die, too?” - A 4-year old boy, after his mom explained to him what the memorial was all about, took his hat off, stepped forward and put his head down on the stand. The mom asked him, “What are you doing, son?” and the boy answered, “I am just sad.” Most kids saw the dog first. A few men had teary eyes. A lot shook their heads while looking at the pictures. Made me proud to be an American. And of course, there will always be one idiot in the crowd. This guy cursed the government for ‘commercializing’ those people and displaying them “like that.” I was tempted to tell him off, but he already looked deranged, so I let it go…

I am so touched and inpsired by Darrell Lynn's tribute to the Heroes of September 11th. His gifts to the families and to our nation will be cherished and remembered forever. I viewed the memorial at the air show on 9/18, and was deeply moved. I am very proud of the contributions and support by FedEx with the commemoration of the memorial, and for once again rising to the occasion to help others in immeasurable ways. Many thanks to Darrell Lynn for honoring our Heroes in such a special way, and to FedEx, the best company I have ever been a part of, for helping share it with America!

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