MetroFocus

FULL EPISODE

MetroFocus: April 6, 2017

A New York Syrian American reacts to this horrific war crime. Tonight a look at the Park Avenue Armory and the role it played then and now. Why are there no “real” women depicted amongst Central Parks statues? Don McLean’s 1971 hit was just added to The Library of Congress.

AIRED: April 05, 2017 | 0:26:47
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>>> TONIGHT ON "METROFOCUS," AS

AMERICA AND THE WORLD PLOT THEIR

NEXT MOVES AFTER THE SUSPECTED

CHEMICAL ATTACK ON INNOCENT MEN,

WOMEN AND CHILDREN, NEW YORK'S

SYRIAN COMMUNITY, WE ASKED THIS

HORRIFIC CRIME AGAINST THEM AND

HUMANITY.

>>> 100 YEARS AGO TODAY AMERICA

JOINED ITS ALLIES AND ENTERED

WORLD WAR I.

A CENTENNIAL LOOK BACK AT OUR

CITY'S RESPONSE.

>>> HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY

THERE ARE NO REAL WOMEN DEPICTED

AMONG CENTRAL PARK STATUES?

SO HAVE WE.

DETAILS AHEAD.

>>> MUCH MORE THAN THREE ROCK

LEGENDS WERE LOST THE DAY THE

MUSIC DIED FOR SINGER SONG

WRITER DON McLEAN.

SO WAS AMERICA'S INNOCENCE.

THE CLASSIC SONG ABOUT AMERICAN

PIE HAS JUST BEEN HONOR BY THE

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS AND DON

McLEAN IS HERE WITH US.

ALL THAT AND MORE AS

"METROFOCUS" STARTS RIGHT NOW.

>> THIS IS "METROFOCUS" WITH

RAPHAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND

JENNA FLANAGAN.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS

PROVIDED BY

>> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO

"METROFOCUS."

I'M JACK FORD.

WE BEGIN TONIGHT WITH THE CIVIL

YAR IN SYRIA, A CONFLICT THAT'S

NOW WAGED SIX YEARS.

THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY

COUNCIL GATHERED ON WEDNESDAY

FOR EMERGENCY TALKS AS THE

INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

RESPONDED TO A REPORT OF

CHEMICAL ATTACK WHICH LEFT

DOZENS DEAD, HUNDREDS WOUNDED IN

THE REBEL-HELD PROVINCE OF

NORTHERN SYRIA.

FOOTAGE COMING OUT OF THE

COUNTRY FOLLOWING THE ATTACK AND

A WARNING THAT THE IMAGES ARE

BOTH SCHORKING AND HORRIFIC

SHOW CIVILIANS GASPING FOR AIR,

FOAMING AT THE MOUTH.

THEY SAY AT LEAST 70 PEOPLE HAVE

BEEN MURDERED, AMONG THEM MORE

THAN A DOZEN CHILDREN.

WESTERN LEADERS UNANIMOUSLY

PLACING THE BLAME ON SYRIA'S

PRESIDENT BASHAR AL-ASSAD.

HERE'S WHAT THE U.S. AMBASSADOR

TO THE UNITED NATIONS NIKKI

HALEY HAD TO SAY.

>> THIS COUNCIL ATTEMPTED TO

HOLD ASSAD ACCOUNTABLE FOR

SUFFOCATING HIS OWN PEOPLE TO

DEATH WITH TOXIC CHEMICALS.

RUSSIA'S ACCOUNTABILITY, THEY

MADE AN UNCONSCIONABLE CHOICE.

THEY CHOSE TO CLOSE THEIR EYES

TO THE BARBARITY WHEN THE UNITED

NATIONS CONSISTENTLY FAILS IN

ITS DUTY TO ACT COLLECTIVELY,

THERE ARE TIMES IN THE LIFE OF

STATES THAT WE ARE COMPELLED TO

TAKE OUR OWN ACTION.

>> SYRIAN JOURNALIST JOINS US.

HER RECENTLY RELEASED BOOK IS

TITLED "THE HOME THAT WAS OUR

COUNTRY, A MEMORANDUM WAR,

SYRIA."

NICE TO HAVE YOU WITH US.

>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

>> WE'LL GET TO YOUR BOOK IN A

SECOND.

MY FIRST QUESTION TO YOU, I

GUESS, IS WHAT DID YOU FEEL WHEN

YOU HEARD THIS STORY AND YOU SAW

SUCH GRAPHIC AND TROUBLING

IMAGES?

>> THERE WERE MANY MORNINGS LIKE

THAT IN THE LAST SIX YEARS.

AND SINCE I CAME BACK TO THE

UNITED STATES I WAS IN SYRIA FOR

THE FIRST TWO YEARS.

I THINK LIKE MANY OTHER SYRIAN

AMERICANS, I LIVE I EXIST IN

TWO PLANES.

I EXIST IN THE CURRENT TIME ZONE

WHERE I AM AND THE LIFE I'M

LIVING AT THAT MOMENT AND I'M

ALWAYS SORT OF PARTIALLY STILL

THERE.

AND THE IMAGES ARE HORRIFIC AND

THE CONDEMNATIONS IMPORTANT, BUT

VERY QUICKLY TO COME BACK TO THE

REALITY THAT SYRIAN CHILDREN,

SYRIAN CIVILIANS HAVE BEEN DYING

EVERY DAY BY OTHER METHODS, BY

MORTARS, BARREL BOMBS, BULLETS.

THERE IS SOMETHING WE FIND

OBJECTIONABLE ABOUT THIS METHOD

OF KILLING.

>> WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?

>> I DON'T KNOW.

IT DOESN'T CHANGE THE REALITY

CIVILIANS ARE DYING EVERY DAY.

MAYBE THERE IS SOMETHING SORT OF

LESS PALATABLE ABOUT DYING JUST

FROM BREATHING IN THE AIR.

BUT THE REALITY HASN'T CHANGED

MUCH.

THIS GOVERNMENT AND THOSE WHO

OPPOSE IT HAVE ACTED WITH

MASSIVE IMPUNITY.

AND THE CIVILIANS PAY THE

ULTIMATE PRICE.

SO, IT'S DEVASTATE, IT'

INFURIATING T' FRUSTRATING AND

IT'S PAINFUL.

>> TELL ME ABOUT YOU JUST

MENTIONED THIS.

YOU'RE THERE BACK IN SYRIA FOR

THE FIRST TWO YEARS OR SO OF

THIS CONFLICT.

BACK THEN NOT NOW, BACK THEN

THEN, HOW DID YOU THINK IT WAS

GOING TO RESOLVE ITSELF?

>> SO, I WAS AND THIS NOW

LOOKS NAIVE, BUT I WAS AN

OPTIMIST.

FOR A LONG TIME SPECIFICALLY IN

THE REGION GENERALLY HAD REALLY

SUFFERED A KIND OF STAGNATION.

IN POWER WERE THESE STRONG MEN

WHO RULED PRETTY RUTHLESSLY WITH

NO TOLERANCE OF DISSENT OR

OPPOSITION.

AND IT SEEMED THAT THE ONLY

ALTERNATIVE WAS GOING TO BE THE

ISLAMIST WHO DIDN'T REALLY HAVE

THE MASSIVE SUPPORT OF MOST OF

THE REGION'S PEOPLE.

AND THEN SOMETHING SEEMED TO

BREAKTHROUGH AND IT WAS THE

PEOPLE'S MOVEMENT AND SO I HAD A

LOT OF OPTIMISM.

AND I WASN'T NAIVE ABOUT THE

FACT THAT THE SYRIAN REGIME

WOULD NOT SHARE POWER SUPER

HAPPILY OR SUPER WILLINGLY, BUT

I DO THINK THEY WOULD BURN THE

VERY GROUND, DESTROY SYRIA JUST

TO RETAIN THE POWER THAT THEY

HAD MANAGED TO RETAIN.

ULTIMATELY, BECAUSE NO MATTER

WHAT, WHETHER IT'S TODAY OR

TOMORROW IN SEVERAL YEARS, THE

REGIMES GO, BUT THE COUNTRY,

WHAT IS LEFT BEHIND, IS MANY

WAYS A SHAMBLES.

>> WE SAW IN THAT REGION THAT

THERE WERE THESE SORT OF

UPRISINGS, REAWAKENINGS.

AND THERE WAS SOME VIOLENCE

ATTACHED TO SOME OF THEM, BUT

NOT NEARLY TO THE EXTENT WE'VE

SEEN WITH SYRIA.

IS THIS SIMPLY AND YOU

MENTIONED IT'S BOTH SIDES HERE.

HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THAT?

>> THERE'S NO FALSE I DON'T

WANT THERE TO BE ANY KIND OF

MISUNDERSTANDING TLGS A KIND OF

FALSE EQUIVALENCE.

THE GREATER PART OF THE VIOLENCE

HAS BEEN COMMITTED BY THE

REGIME.

IT'S THE PLAYER THAT HAS THE AIR

FORCE, THE PLAYER THAT HAS THE

MILITARY.

A PLAYER BACKED BY TWO 'NIQUE

LEER STATES, IRAN AND RUSSIA.

THOSE THAT DECIDE TO TAKE UP

ARMS IN OPPOSITION DON'T HAVE

THE SAME KIND OF FIRE POWER.

BUT WHY THIS HAPPENED IN SYRIA

IS REALLY COMPLEX AND, YOU KNOW,

THIS IS PART OF THE PROBLEM OF

LOOKING AT THE REGION AS IT'S

JUST ONE SCRIPT BETWEEN THE

SUNNI VERSUS SHI'A.

>> WHAT DO YOU THINK I KNOW

THIS IS A DIFFICULT QUESTION TO

ASK, BUT YOU'RE SOMEBODY WHO HAS

BEEN THERE ON THE GROUND.

YOU UNDERSTAND THIS.

YOU UNDERSTAND THE COMPLEXITY OF

IT WHICH I THINK SOMETIMES IS

MISSING IN THE ANALYSIS THAT YOU

SEE FROM OTHER FOLKS.

IF YOU WERE TO PROJECT YOUR

SYRIA FIVE YEARS FROM NOW, TEN

YEARS FROM NOW, WHAT DO YOU

FIRST QUESTION IS MAYBE WHAT DO

YOU HOPE IT'S GOING TO LOOK

LIKE, REALITY, WHAT DO YOU THINK

IT'S GOING TO LOOK LIKE?

>> I MEAN, I CAN'T TELL YOU THE

FUTURE, BUT WHAT I WOULD HOPE IS

THAT WE TAKE A LOOK AROUND AT

THE OTHER SOCIETIES THAT HAVE

GONE THROUGH CIVIL WAR AND HAVE

GONE THROUGH THIS KIND OF

UNRAVELING AND LOOK AT THE

METHODS THAT ARE REQUIRED TO

SORT OF SUCCESSFULLY PUT THE

SOCIETY BACK TOGETHER.

AND THAT, OF COURSE, IS GOING TO

MEAN ACCOUNTABILITY VIS-A-VIS

THOSE PEOPLE WHO HAVE

PERPETRATED CRIMES AND JUSTICE

FOR THE VICTIMS OF THOSE CRIMES.

WHETHER THEY WERE PEOPLE WHO

WERE WITH THE REGIME OR AGAINST

THE REGIME.

YOU KNOW, I THINK WHAT I'M

AFRAID IS GOING TO HAPPEN AND

WHAT WE HAVE SEEN IN OTHER PARTS

OF THE MIDDLE EAST HAPPEN IS

THAT THINGS ARE GOING TO GO BACK

TO NORMAL AND PEOPLE ARE GOING

TO GO BACK TO THE WAY THINGS

WERE BEFORE AND PEOPLE WHO WERE

TRAFFICKERS WILL BECOME

BUSINESSMEN.

PEOPLE WHO WERE LEADING MILITIAS

WILL BECOME DEVELOPERS AND WE'RE

GOING TO SORT OF NOT RECONCILE

WITH WHAT HAPPENED AND JUST HOPE

THAT, YOU KNOW, THINGS CAN MOVE

FORWARD.

PEOPLE WILL GET RICH FROM THIS.

YOU DON'T NEED ME TO READ THE

FUTURE FOR YOU.

YOU CAN JUST TAKE A LOOK AROUND,

WHAT HAPPENS IN OTHER COUNTRIES

AND THEY'RE NOT JUST MIDDLE

EASTERN COUNTRIES.

WE'RE NOT THE FIRST PLACE TO BE

TORN APART LIKE THIS.

AND IT'S JUST A TRAGEDY.

IT WAS TRAGIC IN YUGOSLAVIA.

IT'S BEEN TRAGIC IN RWANDA, IT'S

TRAGIC IN SYRIA.

IT'S A LOSS IF I COULD LEAVE

YOUR VIEWERS WITH ONE THING,

IT'S THAT IT'S A LOSS THAT

SHOULD BE MOURNED BY MORE THAN

JUST SYRIANS.

IT'S A PLACE OF GREAT CULTURE,

GREAT CIVILIZATION, AND IT'S A

TRAGEDY.

>> IT IS INDEED.

YOUR BOOK IS A FASCINATING

COMPELLING LOOK, A FASCINATING

COMPELLING FIRSTHAND LOOK.

I THINK IT HELPS PEOPLE

UNDERSTAND IT, CERTAINLY THIS

CONVERSATION HELPS PEOPLE BETTER

UNDERSTAND WHAGS IN SOME WAYS

ALMOST INEXPLICABLE.

IT'S A PLEASURE TO MEET YOU.

THANKS FOR SPENDING TIME WITH

US.

>> THANK YOU.

>> YOU TAKE CARE.

>> TODAY IS THE 100th

ANNIVERSARY OF THE UNITED STATES

ENTERING WORLD WAR I.

IN NEW YORK HISTORY THE PARK

AVENUE ARMORY PLAYED A MAJOR

PART IN THE WAR AS BOTH A SAFE

HAVEN AND CULTURAL CENTER.

PART PALACE, PART STORE HOUSE

AND 100% AN EXPERIENCE UNLIKE

ANY OTHER IN NEW YORK CITY.

NOW IS DEDICATED TO SUPPORTING

UNCONVENTIONAL WORKS IN THE

VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS.

LET'S TAKE A LOOK.

>> THIS POPPY HAS COME TO

SYMBOLIZE WORLD WAR I AND THE

BRUTAL BATTLES FOUGHT ON PLAN

DERS FIELDS.

YEARS LATER NOTHING WAS LEFT ON

THE SCORCHED EARTH EXCEPT SOME

POPPIES.

HENCE THIS SIMPLE.

I'M BILL BAKER, FORMER PRESIDENT

OF CHANNEL 13 AND I'M HERE AT

THE 66th STREET PARK AVENUE

ARMORY TO TALK ABOUT WORLD WAR I

AND ITS CONNECTION TO NEW YORK

CITY.

MY GUEST IS ELAHI ROSE, MILITARY

HISTORIAN AND SUPPORTER OF THIS

INCREDIBLE INSTITUTION.

>> TYPICALLY NOBODY KNOWS AN

AWFUL LOT ABOUT WORLD WAR I.

IT'S KIND OF LIKE A FORGOTTEN

WAR.

THAT'S A SHAME BECAUSE, YOU

KNOW, IT'S CASUALTIES, OVER

50,000, WERE MORE THAN VIETNAM,

WERE MORE THAN KOREA.

AMERICA DIDN'T FIGHT VERY LONG

IN WORLD WAR I.

ONLY ABOUT FIVE MONTHS, SAY FROM

AUGUST TO NOVEMBER OF 1918.

SO, WE WERE LOSING LIKE 10,000

MEN A MONTH.

>> THIS ARMORY PLAYS A GREAT

ROLE IN NEW YORK HISTORY.

IT WAS BUILT IN THE 1881 FOR THE

SEVENTH REGIMEN.

IT WAS THE MOST SOCIAL UNIT OF

ALL 12 NATIONAL GUARD REGIMENTS.

IT WAS CALLED THE STUCKEY

REGIMENT WHICH SHOULD GIVE YOU

AN IDEA OF ITS SOCIAL STATUS.

THE FIRST FAMILIES WERE ALL

INVOLVED.

THE VANDERBILTS, THEN THE

ROOSEVELTS, THE SKYLERS AND ALL

THE OLD DUTCH FAMILIES WERE ALL

INVOLVED.

IT WAS AN HONOR TO BE IN THIS

REGIMENT EVEN AS A PRIVATE.

THE REASON IT LOOKS SO

MAGNIFICENT RATHER THAN JUST AN

ORDINARY NATIONAL GUARD FACILITY

IS THAT IT WAS BUILT WITH MONEY.

ALL OF THESE GUYS HAD MORE MONEY

THAN GOD, AND THEY PUT IT INTO

THIS BUILDING.

THIS BUILDING WAS NOT ONLY A

NATIONAL GUARD DRILL HALL, BUT

IT WAS LIKE A GENTLEMEN'S CLUB.

THAT'S WHY IT'S SO ELEGANT.

ITS GLORY DAYS LASTED FROM 1881

WHEN THE BUILDING WAS

INAUGURATED, AND I WOULD SAY ITS

GLORY DAYS ENDED ON OCTOBER

27th, 1918.

THE SEVENTH REGIMENT NEW YORK

NATIONAL GUARD WENT INTO BATTLE

ON THAT DAY WITH 3,000 YOUNG

MEN.

THEY LEFT 335 DEAD ON THE BATTLE

FIELD, 11%.

CAN YOU IMAGINE 11% OF ANY CLUB

THAT YOU BELONGED TO?

IT WAS THE HIGHEST CASUALTY OF

ANY REGIMENT ON ANY SINGLE DAY

ACTIVITY IN THE WAR.

THIS ARMORY IS COVERED WITH

MEMORIAL PLAQUES, COVERED WITH

NAMES OF ALL THE YOUNG MEN FROM

THIS REGIMENT WHO DIED.

THE EFFECT OF THE REGIMENT TO

HAVE LOST SO MANY OF ITS

MEMBERS, THE REGIMENT DID NOT

SERVE AS A REGIMENT IN WORLD WAR

II.

IT WAS BROKEN UP INTO VARIOUS

UNITS, AND THE PLACE BEGAN TO

DETERIORATE.

THEY COULDN'T MAINTAIN IT, AND

IT WAS TURNED OVER TO NEW YORK

STATE.

AND THEN IN 1994, MY GREAT HERO,

RAY THOMPSON, STARTED THE IDEA

OF BRINGING BACK OF SAVING

THE ARMORY.

HE GOT TOGETHER A GROUP OF WHOM

I WAS HONORED TO BE ONE.

IT WAS REBECCA ROBERTSON THAT

SAID, YOU KNOW, THIS IS THE

HEART OF THE ARMORY.

HERE WE'VE GOT 55,000 FOOT,

BEAUTIFUL DRILL HALL RIGHT ON

PARK AVENUE.

THERE IS CERTAINLY MORE TO THIS

THAN JUST ANTIQUE SHOWS.

SO, IT WAS HER IMPETUS THAT MADE

THIS PLACE INTO THE CULTURAL

CENTER IT NOW IS.

WE DO ALL KINDS OF CULTURAL

EVENTS AND THEATER EVENTS,

CONCERTS AND THE ARMORY, I GUESS

YOU COULD SAY, IS IN ITS SECOND

LIFE AS AN ARTS CENTER.

>> TAKE A STROLL THROUGH CENTRAL

PARK AND YOU'LL BE GREETED BY

THE LIKES OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON,

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS AND WILLIAM

SHAKESPEARE.

EVEN ALICE IN WONDER LAND AND

MOTHER GOOSE CALL CENTRAL PARK

HOME.

THIS YOU WILL NOT SEE, A STATUE

OF A REAL-LIFE WOMAN LIVING OR

DEAD.

NOW, A GROUP OF NEW YORKERS IS

TRYING TO CHANGE JUST THAT.

THE ELIZABETH KATEY STANTON AND

SUSAN B. ANTHONY STATUE FUND IS

PUSHING TO BUILD A STATUE OF THE

TWO SUFFICIENT RAJJISTS BY 2020.

THE ANNIVERSARY OF WOMEN GETTING

THE RIGHT TO VOTE HERE IN THE

U.S.

OUR NEXT TWO GUESTS ARE LEADING

THIS ONGOING EFFORT AND JOINING

US NOW TO TALK A LITTLE BIT MORE

ABOUT IT.

PAM ELAM IS PRESIDENT OF THE

ELIZABETH KATIE STANTON AND

SUSAN B. ANTHONY FUND AND ARIEL

DEUTSCHE IS ONE OF THE

ORGANIZATION'S VOLUNTEERS.

LADIES, WELCOME TO THE SHOW.

>> THANK YOU.

>> THANK YOU.

>> SO, FIRST, WHAT WAS IT

THAT WHAT WAS THE IMPETUS

THAT MADE YOU REALIZE, WE NEED A

STATUE IN CENTRAL PARK OF WOMEN?

>> WELL, A LOT OF US HAVE BEEN

TALKING A LOT OF YEARS ABOUT THE

LACK OF VISIBILITY FOR WOMEN'S

ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND

CONTRIBUTIONS SO THAT CAN TAKE

THE FORM OF A STATUE OR STREET

SIGN OR A NUMBER OF OTHER

POSSIBILITIES.

SO, FINALLY, IN TERMS OF A KIND

OF FEMINIST-PERFECT STORM, A LOT

OF ANNIVERSARIES ARE HAPPENING.

AS YOU KNOW, 2017 IS THE NEW

YORK STATE WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE

CENTENNIAL.

WOMEN WON THE VOTE THROUGH A

STATEWIDE REFERENDUM.

AND COMING IN 2020 IS THE

NATIONAL WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE

CELEBRATION.

THE CENTENNIAL OF THE

RATIFICATION OF THE 19th

AMENDMENT, AND 2020 IS ALSO THE

200th ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH

OF SUSAN B. ANTHONY.

SO, IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

>> IT'S IRONIC THAT YOU SAY THAT

BECAUSE IN ADDITION TO ALL OF

THESE ANNIVERSARIES, THERE ALSO

SEEMS TO BE A MOMENT IN TIME NOW

WHEN IT SEEMS LIKE NOW WOULD BE

A REALLY GOOD TIME TO PUSH AND

MAKE THIS HAPPEN.

>> I THINK MORE AND MORE PEOPLE

ARE UNDERSTANDING THAT YOU HAVE

TO RETHINK THE PAST TO RESHAPE

THE FUTURE.

AND THAT'S SOMETHING I BELIEVE

VERY STRONGLY IN.

AND OUR EFFORT TO BREAK THE

BRONZE CEILING IN CENTRAL PARK,

164 YEARS WITHOUT A STATUE OF A

REAL WOMAN IN CENTRAL PARK,

PEOPLE FIND THAT HARD TO

BELIEVE.

BUT THE SAD THING TO ME, OF

COURSE, IS THAT SO MANY PEOPLE

THROUGH ALL THOSE YEARS DIDN'T

REALIZE REAL WOMEN WERE MISSING.

SO, WE'RE GOING TO CHANGE THAT

WITH A WHOLE EDUCATION CAMPAIGN

THAT WILL ACCOMPANY THE STATUE.

AND THE STATUE MAY BE OF TWO

FIGURES, ANTHONY AND STANTON,

AND INCLUDE THE NAMES OF MANY

OTHER WOMEN WHO WERE VITAL TO

THE VOTES FOR WOMEN CAMPAIGN.

BUT IT'S REALLY ABOUT A WHOLE

MOVEMENT AND HOW SOCIAL CHANGE

COMES ABOUT.

>> HOW DID YOU CHOOSE THESE TWO

OUT OF ALL THE WOMEN THAT HAVE

BEEN IN NEW YORK?

>> WELL, YOU KNOW, NO ONE CAN

EXPECT THAT ONE STATUE WILL MEET

ALL THE NEEDS AND DESIRES OF SO

MANY PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN

WAITING SO LONG FOR IT.

AND WE RECOGNIZE THAT.

WE HOPE THAT THIS MEMORIAL WILL

BE THE FIRST OF MANY, AND WE

HOPE THAT PEOPLE WILL TAKE THIS

AS JUST THE BEGINNING OF A WHOLE

EFFORT TO UNDERSTAND AND

APPRECIATE WOMEN'S HISTORY.

MANY PEOPLE DON'T KNOW THAT

ANTHONY AND STANTON WERE NEW

YORKERS.

THEY HAVE GREAT TIES TO THIS

CITY, OVER 50 YEARS.

STANTON LIVED AT FOUR DIFFERENT

ADDRESSES ON THE WEST SIDE, AND

ANTHONY PEOPLE DON'T KNOW

NECESSARILY THAT STANTON AND

ANTHONY FOUNDED IN 1863 THE

NATIONAL WOMEN'S LOYAL LEAGUE

AND GOT OVER 400,000 SIGNATURES

ON A PETITION TO SEND TO

PRESIDENT LINCOLN AND THE

CONGRESS TO END SLAVERY

IMMEDIATELY THROUGH THE 13th

AMENDMENT.

THAT HAPPENED HERE.

BUT EVEN ALL THESE ASSOCIATIONS,

THAT WASN'T ENOUGH FOR THE PARKS

DEPARTMENT.

WE HAD TO PROVE A LITERAL

CONNECTION FOR ANTHONY AND

STANTON WITH CENTRAL PARK.

SO, I FOUND HISTORICAL EXAMPLES

OF ANTHONY WALKING THROUGH THE

PARK, STANTON TAKING CARRIAGE

RIDES OF HER CHILDREN PLAYING IN

THE PARK.

SO, NO BUREAUCRATIC COULD

POSSIBLY

>> SAY NO TO THAT, YEA.

ARIEL, LET ME ASK YOU, WHY WAS

IT THAT YOU WANTED TO GET

INVOLVED WITH THIS PROJECT?

>> WELL, MY MOM SENT ME A LETTER

FROM P.A.M. WITH AN ARTICLE

ABOUT THE STATUE FUND.

AND AFTER READING THAT, MY

INITIAL REACTION TO LEARNING

THAT THERE ARE NO STATUES THAT

HONOR HISTORICAL WOMEN JUST

ASTONISHMENT AND THAT'S REALLY

AN UNDERSTATEMENT.

SO, THAT FALL I CONTACTED P.A.M.

AND I ORGANIZED A GROUP OF

STUDENTS TO HELP SUPPORT THE

STATUE FUND AT SCHOOL.

>> CAN I JUST SAY

>> SURE.

>> ARIEL IS VERY MODEST.

SHE DID A MUCH GREATER ARRAY OF

ACTIVITIES THAN THAT.

SHE AND SKY LUCAS, ANOTHER

EXTRAORDINARY YOUNG WOMAN WHO

GOES TO THE DWIGHT SCHOOL,

CREATED THIS WONDERFUL PUBLIC

SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT.

>> ACTUALLY THAT'S WHAT I WAS

GOING TO ASK YOU ABOUT.

WHAT WAS IT LIKE MAKING THAT

VIDEO TALKING TO NEW YORKERS AND

ALMOST MAKING THEM REALIZE

THERE'S NO STATUE OF A WOMAN?

>> SO, SKY LUCAS AND I CREATED

THE P.S.A. REALLY TO SPREAD

AWARENESS OF THE STATUE FUND

MISSION, BUT ALSO TO ENGAGE

OTHERS IN DIALOGUE ABOUT THE

WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT.

WHAT WE CAME TO REALIZE IS

THAT TWO THINGS.

ONE, EVERYONE IS REALLY

ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT THE PROJECT

AND THEY REALLY WANT TO SEE

WOMEN IN CENTRAL PARK.

ALSO, JUST THAT THE MESSAGE

CARRIED FORWARD BY THE

SUFFRAGISTS A DECADE AGO IS

STILL VERY MUCH RELEVANT TODAY.

>> ONE FINAL QUESTION.

ONCE THESE STATUES GO UP, WILL

EITHER ONE OF YOU BE BOTHERED IF

THEY END UP WEARING PINK HATS?

[ LAUGHTER ]

>> THAT WOULD BE JUST FINE.

BUT BEFORE THEY GO UP, WE HAVE

TO RAISE 1.5 MILLION BECAUSE

NEW YORK CITY WON'T GIVE US A

DIME.

WE'VE ONLY BEEN GRANTED THE

RIGHT TO DONATE A WORK OF ART TO

THE CITY.

SO, WE THANK NEW YORK LIFE

INSURANCE COMPANY.

THEY'VE DONATED A $500,000

CHALLENGE GRANT FOR US AND WE'RE

VERY GRATEFUL FOR DONATIONS

LARGE AND SMALL, AND IT'S

MONUMENTAL WOMEN.ORG.

PLEASE CHECK THE WEBSITE.

WE'D BE SO GRATEFUL FOR ANY

HELP.

>> ALL RIGHT.

WELL, LISTEN, LADIES, THANK YOU

SO MUCH FOR TELLING US ABOUT

THIS PROJECT THAT I'M SURE A LOT

OF PEOPLE CAN AGREE IS LONG

OVERDUE.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

>> THANK YOU.

♪ I COULDN'T TAKE ONE MORE STEP

♪ I CAN'T REMEMBER IF I CRIED

WHEN I READ ABOUT HIS WIDOWED

BRIDE

♪ BUT SOMETHING TOUCHED ME DEEP

INSIDE

♪ THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED

>> FOR MANY OF YOU WATCHING, YOU

MAY NOT HAVE BEEN BORN YET, BUT

IF YOU DO REMEMBER FEBRUARY 3RD,

1959, OR IF YOU'RE A FAN OF

CLASSIC ROCK AND ROLL, IT STANDS

OUT AS ONE OF THE MOST TRAGIC IN

MUSIC HISTORY.

ON THAT DAY THREE RECORDING

LEGENDS, RICHIE VALANCE, BUDDY

HOLLY AND RICHARDSON, ALL AT THE

PEAK OF THEIR CAREERS HAD THEIR

VOICES SILENCED WHEN THE PLANE

THEY WERE TRAVELING IN CRASHED

NEAR CLEAR LAKE, IOWA.

IT HAS SINCE BEN AND WILL

FOREVER WILL BE THE DAY THE

MUSIC DIED.

THE MAN WHO COINED THAT SONG IN

THE ICONIC SONG "AMERICAN PIE"

IT SYMBOLIZED THE LOSS OF

INNOCENCE OF ROCK AND ROLL AND

THE INNOCENCE OF AN ENTIRE

GENERATION.

NOW 45 YEARS AFTER ITS RELEASE,

"AMERICAN PIE" HAS BEEN ADDED TO

THE NATIONAL RECORDING REGISTRY

IN THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

RECOGNIZED FOR ITS CULTURAL,

ARTISTIC AND HISTORICAL

IMPORTANCE TO AMERICAN SOCIETY

AND THE NATION'S AUDIO HERITAGE.

AND IT'S MY GREAT PLEASURE TO

WELCOME DON McLEAN HERE TO

"METROFOCUS."

IT IS SO NICE TO SEE YOU.

>> THANK YOU.

>> I SAID WHEN I GOT IN AND

YOU'RE UPSTAIRS IN THE MAKEUP

ROOM AND I WALK UPSTAIRS AND I

GET TO SAY HI TO YOU, AND YOU'VE

GOT SOME MUSIC GOING ON AND

PLAYING, I THOUGHT YOU KNOW WHAT

THIS IS A PRETTY FUN JOB.

I GET TO CHAT WITH PEOPLE LIKE

YOU HERE.

THIS WAS, AND I MENTIONED THIS

TO YOU, THIS IS KIND OF AN

ANTHEM FOR ME.

I WAS IN COLLEGE WHEN THE SONG

CAME OUT AND I'M SORT OF

SURPRISED THAT EVEN MY CHILDREN

KNOW EVERY WORD TO THIS SONG.

AND CAN SING IT.

WHAT DO YOU THINK, PROVIDED SORT

OF THE WORD IS UNIVERSALITY OF

THIS SONG, THE ABILITY FOR

EVERYBODY TO CONNECT TO IT?

AND 45 YEARS LATER BE AS

PASSIONATE AND ENJOY THE SONG SO

MUCH AS THEY DID BACK THEN, WHY

DO YOU THINK?

>> I WAS SAYING BEFORE, I NEVER

THOUGHT I'D LAST THIS LONG.

I NEVER THOUGHT ANYTHING I DID

WOULD LAST THIS LONG.

I THOUGHT ONCE THIS HAPPENED, IT

WAS A BIT OF A PHENOMENON.

I THOUGHT, THIS IS GOING TO KILL

ME BECAUSE IT'S GOING TO BE OVER

WITH.

I DID NOT HAVE TREMENDOUS

ASPIRATIONS LIKE TO BE NUMBER

ONE IN SHOW BUSINESS OR ANYTHING

LIKE THAT.

SO, THE FACT THAT THERE WAS THIS

ATTENTION PAID TO ME WAS A

LITTLE MADE ME A LITTLE

UNCOMFORTABLE ACTUALLY.

>> DO YOU GET FRUSTRATED I'VE

WATCHED SOME OF THE INTERVIEWS

YOU'VE DONE.

ONE OF THE FIRST QUESTIONS IS

ONE OF THE REASONS I DIDN'T ASK

YOU.

ONE OF THE FIRST QUESTIONS

PEOPLE SAY, WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

WHAT DID EACH AND EVERY ONE OF

THESE WORDS MEAN WHEN YOU WERE

WRITING THEM?

I'VE SEEN YOU SAY, LOOK, IN SOME

WAYS IT'S LIKE ASKING A POET,

WHAT IS YOUR

YOU SAID IT CAN MEAN A LOT OF

THINGS TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE.

>> I DON'T THINK OF MYSELF AS A

POET.

I DON'T THINK OF I DON'T EVEN

KNOW WHAT I'M DOING.

I MEAN, I INVENT IT AS I GO

ALONG.

IF I HAVE AN IDEA I FOLLOW

THROUGH ON IT.

THIS WAS OF DREAMS, I WANTED TO

CREATE A DREAM OF SOME KIND.

SO, THEREFORE, TO BE SPECIFIC

ABOUT EVERYTHING SORT OF RUINED

THAT IDEA WHICH WAS THE PRIMARY

IDEA I HAD FOR THE SONG.

IT WASN'T MEANT TO BE A ROMANA

CLEF IS, WASN'T MEANT TO MEAN

THAT.

THERE WERE ASPECTS THERE.

IT WAS ALL THERE SO MUCH

GOING ON.

I HAD A LOT OF FUN WORKING ON IT

BECAUSE I WOULD I ALSO

MAKING FUN A LITTLE BIT OF

THE PAUL IS DEAD THING IS

BEATLES STUFF HAD HAPPENED.

MID '60s.

>> MY AGE, I REMEMBER ALL THAT.

>> RUNNING BACKWARDS, WHAT DID

THEY SAY?

THEY WERE VERY ENTERTAINING AND

I WANTED TO MAKE THIS SONG

ENTERTAINING ON A NUMBER OF

LEVELS.

♪ AND I WENT DOWN TO THE SACRED

STORE

♪ WHERE I'D HEARD THE MUSIC

YEARS BEFORE

♪ BUT THE MAN THERE SAID THE

MUSIC

♪ WOULDN'T PLAY

>> HERE'S A QUESTION.

45 YEARS LATER, DO YOU STILL

ENJOY SINGING THAT?

IS IT STILL FUN FOR YOU?

YOU DO 50 SOME SHOWS A YEAR SO

YOU'RE TRAVELING A LOT.

DOES IT STILL MATTER TO GET YOUR

GUITAR AND SING THIS?

>> IF YOU ASKED MICK JAGGER DOES

HE LIKE SINGING "SATISFACTION"

IF HE DIDN'T ENJOY SINGING

"SATISFACTION" THERE WOULD BE A

LOT OF TROUBLE.

I'M NOWHERE NEAR ON THAT LEVEL.

BUT IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING THAT

AN AUDIENCE LOVES, WHY WOULD YOU

NOT BE DELIGHTED, YOU KNOW, TO

DO THAT FOR THEM AND SEE THEIR

REACTION?

IT'S ALWAYS A THRILL TO SING

SONGS THAT THE AUDIENCE LOVES

AND OF COURSE THEY LOVE THAT ONE

THE MOST.

SO, YOU KNOW, IT DOESN'T MAKE

ANY DIFFERENCE WHETHER YOU'RE

FEELING GOOD ABOUT SINGING THAT

NIGHT OR YOU HAVE A PROBLEM.

YOU'RE THERE TO MAKE OTHER

PEOPLE FEEL BETTER AND TO MAKE

OTHER THAT'S WHAT YOU ARE

YOU'RE A PERFORMER.

YOU PERFORM.

THAT MEANS YOU DELIVER UNDER ALL

CIRCUMSTANCES.

I WAS REALLY HAPPY TO HAVE

SOMETHING THE AUDIENCE LIKED.

ONE OF THE THINGS I LOVE IS WHEN

PEOPLE TELL ME STORIES ABOUT HOW

THIS SONG OR THAT SONG MEANT

SOMETHING TO ONE OF THEIR

CHILDREN OR HELPED THEM THROUGH

SOME SORT OF PERIOD IN THEIR

LIFE WHEN THERE WAS A DIFFICULTY

OF SOME KIND.

SO, I GET A LOT OF THAT.

AND I'M SURE A LOT OF PERFORMERS

GET THAT AS WELL.

BUT THAT'S VERY NICE.

>> FOR GENERATIONS YOU'VE MADE A

LOT OF PEOPLE FEEL VERY GOOD

WITH YOUR MUSIC, ALL OF YOUR

MUSIC, ESPECIALLY THIS SONG.

CONGRATULATIONS ON THE HONOR.

>> THANK YOU.

>> SO WELL DESERVED AND SUCH A

DELIGHT TO SPEND SOME TIME AND

TALK WITH YOU.

>> GREAT, ALWAYS NICE TO BE WITH

YOU.

>> ALL RIGHT.

YOU BE WELL NOW, TAKE CARE.

>> THANK YOU.

>> FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS

PROVIDED BY

>> CORPORATE FUNDING FOR

"METROFOCUS" WAS PROVIDED BY

MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR

RETIREMENT COMPANY.

AND BY PSE AND G, SERVING

CUSTOMERS, STRENGTHENING THE

BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND INVESTING

IN THE FUTURE.