Saturday, January 16, 2010
Continuing on with the "resources".. We've got people - check. Let me go back first and let you know what I've been told of the reasons why Hart Island cannot be visited so easily, and such strict rules and regulations apply. "Security". For those who don't know, burials and exhumations are performed on a weekly basis by the inmates at Ryker's and, if I'm not mistaken, this is a once-a-week ritual - technicality but I need to confirm this. Anyway, true, security would be an issue if you have both visitors and inmates on the Island at the same time - I can appreciate that. So you don't have visitors on the day the inmates are there - makes sense, right? Before I go further, I wanted to say these are my random thoughts; while I have done some research on all this, sometimes you just can't trust the written word - mine, of course, you can always trust - and so confirmation from a reliable source would need to be obtained. Presuming I am correct, however, you simply do not have visitors on the day inmates are on the Island - end of story. So, there you have it - the biggest reason for not allowing visitors - security - but I think I've come up with a pretty good and simple solution, don't you think? How about one week per month for visitors - no burials and/or exhumations for one week out of the month. And, how about hiring some retired police officers to act as security guards during those once-a-week public visits, as needed? I may be naive but I think this can all be accomplished...... in time - don't you? Okay, back to resources. So, another resource required - money, of course! This may seem like a hard one but, again, very possible. I personally don't believe the City of New York should be required, or expected to, pay for a project such as this.................but they could help, for sure. When doing research on Ellis Island, and how her restoration began, I learned the idea of beautification/restoration was shot down more than a few times, money being one of the reasons. Blah, blah, blah, it turns out the restoration of Ellis Island was pretty much funded by private contributions, and I quote, "American people contributed more than $500M.......... no government funds have been used". With Ellis, President Reagan contacted Lee Iacocca, then Chairman of Chrysler Corp., to head a "private sector effort" to raise funds for restoration. The rest is history. I'm closing up shop now while I think about who I can contact about heading up a "private sector effort" to raise money for Hart Island's restoration. I've got a few ideas and, with my big mouth and written words, I just may get through. One person can (and just might) make a difference. Take care.