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AMERICAN MOSAIC - 2003-05-08

Broadcast: May 9, 2003



Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC -- VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.


This is Doug Johnson. On our program today,

We answer a listener’s question about Mother’s Day ...

Play music by the group Fleetwood Mac ...

And report about a contest for a September eleventh memorial in New York City.

World Trade Center Memorial Competition


Officials in New York City have announced an international competition to design a memorial to honor those who died at the World Trade Center. The memorial is part of a larger plan for the rebuilding of the area. Shas more.


The seven buildings known as the World Trade Center complex in New York City were built between nineteen-sixty-two and nineteen-seventy-three. The buildings known as the Twin Towers were the tallest in the world at the time they were finished.

On February twenty-sixth, nineteen-ninety-three, a terrorist bomb exploded in the parking area below the World Trade Center. Six people were killed. Thousands were injured. The bomb damaged the buildings but people were able to return to work three weeks later.

On September eleventh, two-thousand-one, hijackers flew two passenger airplanes into the Twin Towers. The attacks caused huge explosions that started fires in the buildings. Pieces fell all over the area. The Twin Towers fell down.

Five other buildings in the World Trade Center were also destroyed. Almost three-thousand people were killed.

The international competition to honor those killed is open to anyone over the age of eighteen. The competition will be carried out in two parts. The first designs must be sent to the judging committee by June thirtieth. The judges will select five to further develop their designs. The judges will announce a winner later this year. The fourteen judges on the committee include designer Maya Lin, architecture professor Enrique Norton, and Paula Grant-Berry. Her husband was among those killed.

Officials say they are seeking the most creative designs for the memorial to honor all those who died. Anyone seeking to take part in the competition must register by May twenty-ninth. The cost is twenty-five dollars. To register for the competition, you must use the form found on the Memorial Competition Web site. It provides all the necessary information about the contest and how to send in the design. That address is Again, the address is wtcsitememorial -- that's all one word -- dot o-r-g.

Mother’s Day


Our VOA listener question this week comes from two different people. Nguyen Than Duc of Vietnam and Ibrahim Abdulkarim of Nigeria both ask about the American holiday, Mother’s Day.

This Sunday, May eleventh, is Mother’s Day in the United States. Mother’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world, but not always on the same day. Some history experts say the holiday comes from ancient spring festivals in Greece and Rome. A more modern Mother's Day began in the seventeenth century in Britain.

The writer Julia Ward Howe made the first known suggestion for a Mother’s Day in the United States. That was in eighteen-seventy-two. She said it should be a day to celebrate peace.

Mother’s Day as it is celebrated today began with a woman named Anna Jarvis. In nineteen-oh-seven, she held a ceremony to honor her mother at a church in the state of West Virginia. She held the ceremony on the anniversary of her mother’s death. Later, she and others wrote thousands of letters to public officials urging that the second Sunday in May be declared Mother’s Day.

President Woodrow Wilson and the United States Congress finally agreed in nineteen-fourteen. The second Sunday in May became a day of public expression of love for mothers throughout the country. It became popular for people to send gifts of flowers and candy tot their mothers on Mother’s Day.

Today, children of all ages still give their mothers special gifts on Mother’s Day. Older children may travel to visit their mothers. If they cannot, they usually send a special card with a message of love. Or they send flowers.

They also usually call their mothers on the telephone to wish them a happy day. Mother’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year for American telephone companies.

Fleetwood Mac


You probably remember the band Fleetwood Mac from its hit records twenty years ago. Well, the band has released its first album of new songs in sixteen years. Steve Ember tells us about the album, called “Say You Will.”


Fleetwood Mac has produced a big album. There are eighteen songs on “Say You Will.” Singer Stevie Nicks joked that a person needs two days to listen to it.

She and guitar player Lindsey Buckingham met as teenagers. They recorded an album together before joining Fleetwood Mac in nineteen-seventy-four. The two musicians are famous for the stormy love relationship they once had. The album closes with goodbye songs that they wrote about each other years ago. Hers is called “Goodbye Baby.”


Nicks and Buckingham says they balance each other musically. However, part of the balance comes from much argument. Nicks says the music would be uninteresting if everything went smoothly. Here is another song Stevie Nicks wrote about her relationship with Lindsey Buckingham. It is called “Thrown Down.”


Fleetwood Mac has sold more than seventy-million records since its creation. Mick Fleetwood is the only member who has been in the band from the beginning. He plays the drums. John McVie is also an early member. He plays bass. We leave you now with the new album’s title song, “Say You Will.”



This is Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today. Write us with your questions about American life. We will try to answer them on future programs. Listeners whose questions are chosen will receive a gift.

Write to American Mosaic, VOA Special English, Washington, D.C., two-zero-two-three-seven, USA. Or send e-mail to mosaic at v-o-a news dot com. Please include your name and mailing address.

Our program was written by Nancy Steinbach and Caty Weaver. Our studio engineer was Rick Barnes. And our producer was Paul Thompson.

Join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC -- VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.