Flame Of  Hope Gala  Nov. 10, 2005


The delicately beautiful American soldier, Iraq veteran, Jessica Lynch walked into the Allen Room of Jazz at Lincoln Center looking like a fragile porcelain doll in a red satin spaghetti strapped floor length dress over well worn white sneakers and holding a cane. She was being appropriately honored in commemoration of her bravery at the Flame of Hope gala the eve before Veterans Day. Proceeds from the gala and auction benefited the American Indian College Fund. Jessica has devoted a great deal of her time to help the Hopi family and children of her friend, Lori Piestewa, whom Lynch promised she would in case she never made it back, and indeed Lori became one of the unfortunate war casualties in Iraq, but not before having helped Jessica Lynch survive her own life threatening and harrowing ordeal. It was through Lynch’s efforts that the family got a good deal of material help from Extreme Makeovers’ home edition and a new home.

After an awards dinner and performances by the Navajo Code Talkers and the Redhawk Dance Troupe, Grammy and Golden Globe winner, Country Singer/Songwriter/Actor Kris Kristofferson treated guests to a selection of his songs, while playing the harmonica and strumming his guitar. His final treat ended in a soulful duet with his friend, singer Richie Havens in the video below. The exquisite contrast of their voices evidenced loving harmony. Look for Kris and many of the nation’s top country singers all week during Country Takes NYC week which will be capped off by the 39th annual CMA awards, for the first time in its history away from the comfortable site of their Nashville digs, at Madison Square Garden on November 15th.

The moment when Jessica received her award, the late PFC Lori Piestewa’s pint sized daughter, Carla, spontaneously embraced Lynch, prompting Jessica to take the little girl under the wing of her just won yellow and multicolored Indian Serape shawl.