Memorial-Annie's Dad Speech 1

This speech was given by Ann's Dad at the Minot Symphony's Homecoming Concert and the formal opening of the Ann Nicole Nelson Hall

February 1, 2003

Dr. Shaar, Jenette and Friends of Ann, I was asked to share a few words with you tonight. This I will do on behalf of our entire family – my wife, Jenette, son Scott, his wife Dawn and their five children. I would like to thank Dr. Jenkins, Darla Weigel, Kim Thompson, and Sandy Norstrom for their exhaustive efforts in assisting me in preparing for this dedication.

Now I want to tell you a little about my Annie. I was there in the delivery room when she was born – that was 5-17-71 at 8:36 a.m. It was love at first sight. Throughout her life, we spent an inordinate amount of time together. I suppose there were times when she looked to me for that fatherly guidance. But it wasn’t long before I was caught up in her tail wind and our roles seemed to be reversed.

I was also there when Annie left this earth – in my home riveted to the morning news. That was 9-11-01 at 9:28 a.m. - the moment the north tower of the World Trade Center collapsed – an event that robbed America of some of its brightest stars, and robbed from us our beloved daughter who would become my greatest teacher.

Now Ann’s physical presence is gone, but I know we can never be spiritually separated. That thought has strengthened me. It has enabled me to carry on with my life, and now I realize more than ever some of the things Ann stood for, and what she wanted to teach me. Ann loved more and was more loved than anyone I have ever known. I have learned that Ann’s most precious resource was love. It was the very foundation of her ability to nurture relationships – unifying her friends and family and often times total strangers.

Now Ann is teaching me how to recognize this love – to cultivate and expand my personal relationships with my friends, my family, and with my God.

I am assured that she found peace at the end of that fateful day. You see, she turned God’s way and she left it all – leaving us a void to fill with remembered joys and lasting relationships. That’s part of our reason for being here tonight - celebrating and dedicating a piece of her love that will forever bring people together. For Annie knew that you, her friends and her family were life’s greatest gifts to her, and now we have Annie’s Hall.

A Mother's Only Daughter

That’s why I seek my Annie

I can’t let her go away.

I must seek until I find her-

I must see her every day.

She is my only daughter-

She is my joy and pride.

I must find a way to keep her

ever by my side.

I must speak a brand new language

I must find a way to see.

I must travel to where my Annie is

if she can’t find her way to me.cont.