April 6, 2017: TONIGHT ON METROFOCUS

HOMELAND UNDER SIEGE

After the suspected chemical attack in Syria which led to the deaths of innocents, a New York Syrian American reacts to this horrific war crime.

 

WORLD WAR I

100 years ago today America joined its allies and entered World War I.  Tonight a look at the Park Avenue Armory and the role it played then and now.

 

SEXISM IN CENTRAL PARK?

Why are there no “real” women depicted amongst Central Park’s statues?

 

“AMERICAN PIE” HONORED

Don McLean’s 1971 hit was just added to The Library of Congress, he’ll be here to discuss “the day the music died.”

 

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.

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