This speech was given by Ann's Dad at the Minot Symphony's
Homecoming Concert and the formal opening of the Ann Nicole Nelson Hall
Feb. 1, 2003
Dr. Shaar, Jenette and Friends of Ann,I was asked to share
a few words with you tonight.
This I will do on behalf of our entire family – my
wife, Jenette, son Scott, his wife Dawn and their five children.
I would like to thank Dr.
Jenkins, Darla Weigel, Kim Thompson, and Sandy Norstrom
for their exhaustive efforts in assisting me in preparing
for this dedication.
Now I want to tell you a little about my Annie.
I was there in the delivery room when she was born – that was 5-17-71
at 8:36 am. It was love at first
sight. Throughout her life, we
spent an inordinate amount of time together.
I suppose there were times when she looked to me for that fatherly
guidance.But it wasn’t long before I was caught up in her tail wind and
our roles seemed to be reversed.
I was also there when Annie left this earth – in my home riveted to the
morning news. That was 9-11-01
at 9:28 am- the moment the north tower of the World Trade Center collapsed
– an event that robbed America of some of its brightest starts, and robbed
from us our beloved daughter who would become my greatest teacher.
Now Ann’s physical presence is gone, but I know we can never be spiritually
separated. That thought has strengthened
me. It has enabled me to carry
on with my life, and now I realize more than ever some of the things Ann
stood for, and what she wanted to teach me. Ann loved more and was more loved than anyone I have ever known.
I have learned that Ann’s most precious resource was love.
It was the very foundation of her ability to nurture relationships
– unifying her friends and family and often times total strangers.
Now Ann is teaching me how to recognize this love – to cultivate and
expand my personal relationships with my friends, my family, and with
my God. I am assured that she found peace at the end of that fateful
day. You see, she turned God’s
way and she left it all – leaving us a void to fill with remembered joys
and lasting relationships. That’s
part of our reason for being here tonight- celebrating and dedicating
a piece of her love that will forever bring people together.
For Annie knew that you, her friends and her family were life’s
greatest gifts to her, and now we have Annie’s Hall.