Note from Ava February 27th, 2003
I was very sad to hear the news of Mr. Fred Mcfeely Rogers death from stomach cancer.
He was an educator, songwriter, puppeteer, producer, and children's television programming pioneer, who entertained and
educated families for 50 years.
I spoke to my daughter about his death, but it didn't seem to bother her as much as it bothered me. I grew up watching
his show, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood on PBS. My daughter also watched his show when she was younger. but Mr. Rogers was more
special to me, because he reminded me so much of my grandfather who passed away just before I became pregnant. They looked
a lot alike, dressed alike and were both intelligent, soft spoken, good men.
I was proud to use Mr. Rogers as a good role
model for my daughter.
In the spring of 2000, I took my daughter to the Children's Day Festival at the World Trade Center in NYC. There we met
the man who played Mr. McFeely, and I always wished I could have met Mr. Rogers. I had planned on going back, but then 9/11
happened, and I lost my cousin there. I never found out if there was another Children's Day. There were many times that I
looked at Mr. Rogers website, for guidance on discussions with my daughter related to issues that came up when she was younger,
and about the attacks. This world needs more people like Fred Rogers, especially during these times. Mr. Roger's was a peacemaker,
and came out of retirement to make public service announcements.
On July 9, 2002 Fred Rogers was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom! It is the nation's highest civilian honor. It
recognizes individuals who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the
United States or to world peace or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."
Fred Rogers discussed topics with our children that a lot of parents might avoid, such as how to talk to children about
war. He always put children first, as we all should. I'm not sure if there is another man like him. Do you know of anyone?
If you do, feel free to write about them and tell me!
For more information on Mr. Rogers, his family, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood and the many other projects and shows he was involved
in, please go to the Mr. Rogers Family Communications website at http://www.fci.org/ and to http://www.pbs.org there you can also find a letter that I sent in.
Sincerely, - Ava