Fallen Stone, Painted Rocks

Dear Friends,
For Americans, September 11th has become a day of remembrance. On this day we remember the fallen, the injured, the loss, the lessons, the heartbreak, the world…

On that pristine, cloudless day in 2001, the New York skyline was blackened. Americans were shocked by tragedy. What happened afterward was nothing short of spectacular. The indomitable American spirit rose up like a phoenix. We grieved long, then we rebuilt the fallen stone.

After 9/11 many of us looked for ways to help out. I painted hundreds of beach pebbles then planted myself in front of the local grocery store. I collected over $1,200 selling rocks for $1, but many teary-eyed people donated much more. We look back and still weep.

9:11 rocks The money was given to FDNY Rescue 1 – they’d lost half their company, eleven men.
The portrait below is of FDNY Rescue 1, Firefighter Gary Geidel (44 years of age), who was lost on 9/11/2001. I painted this for his mother.

Gary GeidelThere are many parts of the world that can’t look back, their lands are still war zones. I pray for worldwide peace. It is very, very difficult…but not impossible.

Thank you. May you too, dream of world wide peace…

13 thoughts on “Fallen Stone, Painted Rocks

  1. What a wonderful thing you did, painting and selling your beach pebbles, and then donating the proceeds to the fire department. And then what a lovely painting of that firefighter — I’m sure his mother treasures it more than you can ever know. I agree, we need peace.


  2. What a beautiful picture, Ann. Painting it must have been an antidote to frustration. His mother must cherish it. For so many of us, there was nothing we could do to soothe anyone’s sorrow. We went by the World Trade Center a month before, on our way to Ellis Island, saying we’d go there the next time…I couldn’t believe any human being could hate others so much. Now we know they can.


  3. When I saw the first images of that plain crashing into the building I thought it was for a movie untill I hear the comment, I just could not believe what had happened, how evil can a human be !!!! Life will never be the same again !


    • After the insane collapse there was a solemn desperation and humble strength. So very sorry about your loss. My father’s cousin was there for an interview and didn’t make it out either.
      The people who donated amazed me. I couldn’t believe how generous people were simply for rocks…
      AnnMarie 🙂


    • Hello Tillie,
      Wow. Nice to meet you. I am so very honored.
      My old neighbor’s mom worked with your grandmother (if memory serves) at a hospital in Warwick. My neighbor told me about your father post 9/11 and I’d wanted to do a portrait of a 9/11 firefighter. I’m not sure where the portrait ended up.
      I hope you like it. You father cut quite a handsome figure. What a wonderful and noble face. I was honored to capture his likeness.
      I hope your family members are all doing well. Please stop by here anytime. And thank you again, for your lovely words.
      I’m sorry for the loss of your father at such a young age and in such a tragic way. He was a brave man and a hero.


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