3:09 P.M. A Boy Gives Obama a Fist Bump, and a Prayer Card
Christopher Cannizzaro was just 10 months old when hijacked planes struck the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. His father, Brian Cannizzaro, a firefighter with Ladder Company 101 in Red Hook, Brooklyn, died in the destruction of the towers that day.
On Thursday afternoon, Christopher, now 10, was among the relatives of victims of 9/11 who met President Obama following the wreath-laying ceremony at ground zero. Christopher gave the president a fist-bump and handed him a prayer card with a picture of his father. The president put the card in his pocket.
"It means, like, the world to me," Christopher said of meeting the president. "He's a very nice person."
Christopher lives with his mother on Staten Island. He is a fifth-grader, but he did not look it on Thursday: He wore khakis, a blue blazer, a blue shirt, a red and blue striped tie and his favorite necklace, the one with a picture of his father dressed in firefighter gear.
Christopher's mother, Jackie Cannizzaro-Harkins, gave Mr. Obama a hug. She and her son were among a group of 9/11 families and elected officials who spoke with Mr. Obama at the memorial plaza following the ceremony. They stood for several minutes among the trees on the plaza, not far from the wreath on a wooden easel.
Christopher's interaction with the president lasted only a minute or two. "He was asking me about my dad," he said. "He asked about my necklace. He was just being so nice to me. He was being open with me. I was just truly honored to be here."
About Bin Laden's death, Christopher said: "I was sort of happy, but they could have did something a little less harsh. It meant a lot to know that what happened to my dad happened to him."
Mrs. Cannizzaro-Harkins said that of the many ceremonies that have been held at ground zero, this one was different. "It was hopeful," she said afterward. "It gave us a sense of closure." -- MANNY FERNANDEZ