Guest blog – Arrow Park, NY blessing (day two)

Arrow Park, N.Y.  (October 1, 2011) –  The second day at Arrow Park was as moving as the first. On the second day, the New York City Fire Department (NYFD) planted a memorial tree to honor those lost in the 9-11 attacks.

The NYFD does this annually; and urges family and friends to attend the event. Music and a drum program wrapped up the morning, followed by a picnic.

When it was time for the blessing of the healing totem, about 70 spectators heard NYFD’s Chaplain Christopher Keenan share excerpts from a speech by Chief Seattle. Keenan then turned to the NLM healing totem travelers and offered a prayer and song of blessing that brought tears to the eyes of many of the travelers.

A representative from Yakima Nation blessed the totem and travelers with a song, before carver Jewell James, House of Tears Carvers, explained the markings on NLM’s healing totem.

The ceremony concluded with the NYFD presenting all the healing totem travelers with a red feather amulet, consisting of a red feather, a white bead, and a gold medallion. The red feather symbolizes freedom, prayer and courage. The white bead sends a message of healing and hope. The gold medallion represents honor and devotion.  Each amulet hung from a piece of twig, which was clipped from the memorial trees.

Renae Barger
Executive Director
National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region
Health Sciences Library
University of Pittsburgh


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s