VIVEKANANDA ROCK MEMORIAL DEDICATION
Thousand Island Park, New York
Friday, July 31, 2009
Remarks by Nellie Taylor
This is a special day - for me and for Rock Ridges Nature Trail, too. Thank you for inviting us to join in the dedication of this site as a historic and holy place.
Minna Anthony Common saw the beauty and value of this landscape. From her cottage at the foot of Mountain Ave. she saw Native Americans traversing a trail to the summit where they held ceremonies. In 1935, she created Rock Ridges Nature Trail – preserving and protecting the land for all of us to enjoy. She dedicated the rest of her life to tending the trail and documenting it through her writings and drawings.
My grandfather, Thomas Mitchell, Sr. met Swami Vivekananda when he was here as a guest of Miss Dutcher. He recalled him as wonderfully charismatic – a gentle and holy man.
These hills, rocks and ridges have always been sacred to me. As children, my friends and I spent many happy hours roaming, running and playing here – always feeling safe and secure. Our parents must have felt the same way because no one ever questioned where we were or what we were doing as long as we came home for dinner.
Years later, we learned part of why it was so special. Vivekananda had been here, meditated here and brought heavenly karma to this special place.
We extend our thanks to the Ramakrishna - Vivekananda Center for including us and helping us to understand the significance of this very holy Vivekananda Rock.