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New Yorker's Say 'Good Riddance' to 2011

  • Peter Fedynsky

“Good riddance” is an expression in English to bid farewell to disagreeable things or people. As 2011 comes to an end, New York City held its fifth annual Good Riddance Day to give residents and visitors an opportunity to rid themselves of unpleasant memories and to ring in the New Year with a clean slate.

About on million people converged upon Times Square nearly a year ago to welcome the promise of 2011. People gathered in the same location Wednesday to say good riddance to the year’s problems or disappointments - a failed business, a bout with cancer, excess weight, a mortgage, a demonic boss, bad grades, the married life, the single-life, and many an insecurity.

They penned their good riddance on paper, tossed it in a dumpster and watched a shredder truck pulverize the contents.

Katie Selman of Tampa, Florida, was recognized by organizers for having the most creative entry. She is the mother of five and also the wife and sister of Iraqi War veterans. “I wanted to say goodbye to deployment for 2011, and to come here to shred deployment papers for my brother and my husband,” she said.

Selman and her husband, Major Steve Selman, tore up the documents that sent him to war and away from his children. He looks forward to 2012.

“Get to do great things with my kids; teach my kid how to throw a baseball, and my daughter - play dolls with her, be able to do great things like this with my wife and basically catch up with everybody,” Selman said.

And, says Katie Selman, to help with household chores, like taking out the trash and mowing the lawn.

New Year’s celebration organizers in New York have already wheeled in the number two to replace the last digit in a large sign of the year 2011 that shined above Times Square less than 365 days ago. Having bid good riddance to disappointments of the previous year, revelers will now welcome the promise of 2012.