Soon after the September 11 attacks, Vera Katz – then mayor of Portland, Oregon – encouraged Oregonians to travel to New York City at their earliest opportunity. Katz’s request was sparked by New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s appeal for Americans to come and help rebuild the city’s unraveling economy.
Sho and Loen Dozono of AZUMANO TRAVEL took that message to heart.
So, Sho Dozono – a Portland entrepreneur whose businesses include Azumano Travel – and his wife Loen took leadership roles in organizing a trip that would extend a hand of friendship from coast to coast. News of the trip spread quickly. In a matter of weeks, more than 1,000 Oregonians from all walks of life had expressed interest in traveling to New York.
“New York City is such a welcoming and multiethnic, irreverent but good-hearted place,” Hart said. “It was important for Oregonians to reach out, go and demonstrate the message that people should come back and enjoy the city. Compassion transcends ethnicity and borders.”
In October 2001, 1,000 Oregonians boarded a total of 62 flights for a cross-country journey of hope. Once there, the Freedom Fliers – which included Mayor Katz, the Dozonos and other prominent Oregonians – visited the site where the World Trade Center towers had once stood, spoke with firemen and policemen and, above all, put much-needed tourist dollars back into the local economy. They also marched in the city’s annual Columbus Day parade in a show of solidarity with New Yorkers.
GIRLSCOUT LOCATIONS HAS ONE WORD FOR AZUMANO: “CLASSY”