Several days ago, I was listening to a Rush Limbaugh podcast on my iPod as I was running. Rush took a call from a guy whose voice sent a smile careening over my face. He had that heavy New York accent that I have always adored. It grounded me to my time in New York, to the mixed blessing of Manhattan. But more than how he was saying it, I listened with fascination to what he said. He was passionately opposed to the Ground Zero Mosque.
Maybe it was his accent, or just the fact that I agreed with him, but for whatever reason, his call to Rush stuck with me for days after. Then I received a mass- email from someone asking for assistance spreading the word about the Ground Zero Mosque. I scrolled down and saw that it was originated from an “Andy Sullivan.”
I sent him an email asking if he was the same Andy who called Rush Limbaugh and sure enough, it was him. I was very pleased that he agreed to chat with me. He has begun the Hard Hat Pledge, asking the construction guys in NYC to refuse to build the Ground Zero Mosque.
“We are practically declaring war against our 3rd termer disaster of a Mayor who I would love to confront face to face. The people like myself who have quietly been suffering for the better part of a decade do not need to have a Mosque built on the ashes of our loved ones,” he wrote in a plea for signatures.
Andy is scheduled to appear on Fox on Wednesday morning to discuss his Pledge and bring attention to the cause.
This is the slightly edited version of our conversation:
Cara: Who are you?
Andy: I’m a son of Irish immigrants and have been working with my hands since I’ve been able to pick up a hammer (35 years). I presently am a construction field supervisor for the largest drywall company on the east coast. My labor of love Blue Collar Corner was born out of feelings of outrage and betrayal. No more talking heads telling us middle class how we should feel or what we should think.
Cara: How did you become involved in this cause? Why do you feel so passionately about the mosque at Ground Zero?
Andy: The fact that I was there during the 9/11 attacks and experienced Satan’s trip to downtown, makes this one of the most important things of my life. School mates, coworkers, friends and worst of all my first love of my life all perished in that day of carnage. Not to take anything away from our brave cops and firemen, but it was the 9/11 Hard Hats that were the first responders by virtue of the fact we were there working at the time. Pulling out people victims and remains in the days that followed ate at my soul like nothing I have ever experienced. I can go on about all the double funerals one without a body and one with a tea spoon of remains. I feel sick even writing this now.
Cara: What has the response been to your Hard Hat Pledge? Have you run into any resistance? With the economy in the bucket, it would seem that the temptation is pretty strong among the workers to build the mosque. Are the workers tempted? Or would you say they’re as outraged as you are?
Andy: Its amazing every trade I talk to say the same thing: they will go elsewhere for work no matter how dire their situation ( I freakin love my NYrks). I will not even entertain the possibility of a Mosque in that location.
I am humbled by the nationwide reaction from these people I don’t know showering me with blessings and love. I pray I can protect the memories of the slain and give peace and serenity to the 911 families of whom I pray for every night. We will not rest until I know the Mosque issue is resolved. If they need a building to put their Mosque in, use one that serves no purpose … Like the U N.