President Obama Recognizes Two from Scarsdale
- Published on Monday, 21 November 2016 16:04
- Joanne Wallenstein
A six year-old boy from Edgemont and an 88 year-old Scarsdale Physicist were both spotlighted by President Barack Obama as he completes his final days in office.
Alex Myteberi of Edgemont made headlines in September when he wrote a letter to the President asking if he could welcome a Syrian boy from war-torn Aleppo into his home. The President quoted Alex in his speech at the United Nations, saying, "We can learn from a young boy named Alex, who lives not far from here in Scarsdale, New York. Last month, like all of us, Alex saw that heartbreaking image -- five-year-old Omran Daqneesh in Aleppo, Syria, sitting in that ambulance, silent and in shock, trying to wipe the blood from his hands.
And here in New York, Alex, who is just six years old, sat down and wrote me a letter. And he said, he wanted Omran to come live with him and his family. "Since he won't bring toys," Alex wrote, "I will share my bike and I will teach him how to ride it. I will teach him addition and subtraction. My little sister will be collecting butterflies and fireflies for him...We can all play together. We will give him a family and he will be our brother."
Those are the words of a six-year-old boy. He teaches us a lot."
The President continued, "The humanity that a young child can display, who hasn't learned to be cynical, or suspicious, or fearful of other people because of where they're from, or how they look, or how they pray, and who just understands the notion of treating somebody that is like him with compassion, with kindness -- we can all learn from Alex. Imagine the suffering we could ease, and the lives we could save, and what our world would look like if, seeing a child who's hurting anywhere in the world, we say, "We will give him a family and he will be our brother."
On November 10 Myteberi and his family were invited to tour the White House and received a surprise greeting from the president. Obama complimented Ale's suit and told him, "You being so nice and kind, hopefully, makes other people think the same way," "So I was very proud of you." You can watch the video here:
On Wednesday November 16, President Obama announced that Scarsdale's Richard Garwin is among 21 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The prestigious prize is given to civilians who've made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors." Also on this year's list are: basketball legends Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; television host and actress Ellen DeGeneres; actors Robert De Niro, Robert Redford, and Tom Hanks; musicians Bruce Springsteen and Diana Ross; Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels; famed architect Frank Gehry; sportscaster Vin Scully; businesspeople and philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates; actress Cicely Tyson; the late Native-American activist Elouise Cobell; Miami Dade College president Eduardo Padrón; former FCC chairman Newt Minow; computer scientist Margaret H. Hamilton; the late Naval leader and computer scientist Grace Hopper and designer/artist Maya Lin.
Garwin is the winner of the National Medal of Science in both the fields of Engineering and Science and is the author of the design used in the first hydrogen bomb. He has served every U.S. president from Eisenhower to Obama. Dr. Garwin's lifelong commitment to such projects as Global Warming, Nuclear Non-Proliferation, Disarmament, and Energy are unparalleled.
Dr. Richard L. Garwin received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Chicago in 1949 under the sponsorship of Enrico Fermi. He has worked in particle physics, nuclear physics, solid state physics and in a wide range of technology such as air traffic control, satellite communications, satellite navigation, touchscreens, laser printers and magnetic resonance imaging. While working at the IBM Research Division at Columbia University, Garwin served as a consultant at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory where he provided the design for the first thermonuclear weapon test (the hydrogen bomb) at Eniwetok on November 1, 1952. Garwin has advised the United States government on many aspects of nuclear power including the disposal of spent fuel. He is a prolific author and was the subject of a documentary film.