There are many organizations that serve the Jewish community. One of the lesser known is Mekimi. Mekimi's mission is to provide happiness to sick children and their families. To raise one up from the deepest depths of sadness is the epitome of selflessness and to what the organization aspires.
I have seen some of their fabulous work in past press releases, yet this past July 4th one of my neighbors shared with me the family's experience, and since I could not find any mention of this in the media, I will share it with my readers.
I received a call from Mekimi that they had a viewing area for the Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks display, was I interested? Sure, I said. I figured that my chances of getting a viewing area suitable to see the show were greater with a group than had I simply taken the train and fought the crowds on my own.
I arrived at Mekimi headquarters in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn and was astounded to see a coach bus waiting to ferry us to our location. I was somewhat concerned that we would miss the entire show, because the fireworks were designated to begin at darkness, 9:20 PM, and I was fearful of NYC traffic which is notorious for slowing to a crawl, even on highways during past fireworks shows.
What I hadn't known is that the Mayor/NYPD's office had provided a squad car with two officers who were to be our escort! The bus navigated the Boro Park streets until Ocean Parkway where we then zipped into the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. We emerged on the West Side Highway where I had never seen so many policemen in one area. Yet as if the Parting of the Sea was being reenacted, police barriers were removed to allow access solely for our escort and our bus.
We proceeded until 24th street. There we were amazed to be situated in an area reserved for the dignitaries and all the major television and cable channels. We were escorted out on the 24th street pier, where Mekimi had prepared sushi and deli sandwiches and drinks. The view was amazing on this picture-perfect, weather-perfect evening.
The grandstand was situated directly behind us. Soon we noticed a caravan of 6 SUV's with their cherries flashing stopping at 24th street. The Mayor emerged and proceeded past us, briefly stopping to shake hands with some and wishing well to others.
All in all, it was a wonderful sight. I had never seen fireworks so close. They were shot into the air from six barges sitting on the Hudson river. The coordination was stupendous. The colors were electrifying. This experience will stay with me and my children for a lifetime.
Thank you Mekimi.