Every year on June 13th, Ace’s birthday, Jan Ramirez of the September 11 Memorial and Museum, sends an email to the foundation with a photo of a single perfect white rose inserted into the top of the A in Ace’s name on the south pool memorial. It is such a sweet thing to receive. We always wonder who the kind soul is who honors Ace in this way, but had never asked if anyone at the museum knew.
This year I sent an email to Jan to ask her if anyone knows who puts the white roses there. We were so touched when we learned that a florist a few blocks from the site delivers white roses for every person lost on 9/11 on the date of their birthday.
Jan wrote: “We have a local florist downtown who has been donating the white roses to the Memorial since it was dedicated. He refuses to take a dollar for it. He says that it is his privilege to donate them. Our Visitor Services team jostle with one another for the right of placing them—in rain, shine, snow or sleet.”
Jan told me that she only knows his name as, “Mikey Flowers.” She said, “his a big, burly fellow with tattoos, a great NYC accent and a heart of gold. He experience the 9/11 attacks on the ground and offered help as part of the immediate army of volunteer rescue workers. He truly lives the sentiment of ‘Never Forget.’”
Mikey Flowers truly lives the sentiment of ‘Never Forget.’
It didn’t take too much online work to find Mikey Flowers; he’s very well known in lower Manhattan. I emailed him and received a response right away. His name is Michael Collarone and his flower shop is on Beach Street, about a fifteen minute walk from the site of the World Trade Center. He and his shop was in the thick of it in the days and months following 9/11. He lost friends there. He volunteered to help in all ways that he could and he documented the scenes of horror with his camera. He’s put together his photos and remembrances in a small book called, Mikey Flowers 9/11: Ashes to Ashes, Dust to DNA.
I plan to stop by his shop to meet him, thank him and shake his hand when I’m in NYC in late September. And, it turns out that he’s a big fan and of the New York Rangers and a friend of Rangers G.M., Glen Sather. So, it’s a small world…and for every human that does something heinous there are hundreds more that fill the world with kindness.
Thank you Mikey Flowers for buying and delivering nearly 3,000 beautiful roses to the memorial every year! It makes me smile and well-up at the same time.
THE NEW YORK RANGERS VISIT THE 9/11 MEMORIAL AND LEAVE FLOWERS IN HONOR OF ACE AND MARK