- The Washington Times - Monday, September 23, 2019

First lady Melania Trump rang the opening bell on Wall Street Monday, kicking off a busy week for the first couple in their hometown of New York.

Mrs. Trump was surrounded by students as she participated in the popular ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange. People on the trading floor whooped and hollered after the bell rang out at 9:30 a.m.

The logo of Mrs. Trump’s signature program, “Be Best,” was projected on the wall above them. The initiative encourages children to fulfill their potential, exercise good habits online and avoid bullying and drugs.

“Follow your dreams and be best at what you do,” Mrs. Trump said, describing its mission.

President Trump is scheduled to meet with a series of global leaders at the U.N. General Assembly this week, starting with bilateral sessions Monday with the heads of Pakistan and Poland.

Mrs. Trump, meanwhile, was accompanied by Stacey Cunningham, president of the New York Stock Exchange, and 10 children from the United Nations International School down on Wall Street.

Ms. Cunningham asked the children if it was their first visit to the exchange.
“I pass by it on the bus,” one of them, Joey Ramos, said.

Mrs. Trump signed the stock exchange’s guest book ahead of the bell-ringing ceremony. Paging through the book, Ms. Cunningham called out a few famous names.

“Barry Manilow, any Barry Manilow fans?” Ms. Cunningham said.

“I don’t even know who that is,” one of the kids responded.

“He’s a singer but he’s, uh — a little before your time,” Ms. Cunningham said.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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