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Hicksville Honors The Fallen

It’s been 12 years since the attack on the World Trade Center, but no matter how many years have passed, it is a day that Americans will remember forever. To honor the fallen members of the Hicksville community, as well as the first responders who lost their lives trying to rescue civilians, friends and family of those who were lost on that day gathered together with the Hicksville Fire Department to pay tribute. A special tribute was given to George Howard, ex-captain of the Hicksville Fire Department who was with Emergency Company 5, and Terrence Farrell, ex-chief of the department who was also with Citizens Engine Company 3.

With American pride on full display as a large flag hung over the firehouse as well as a sea of American Flags on the lawn to honor the 411 first responders that were lost in the terrorism attack, the event kicked off with a procession by the New York Metro Pipe Band and the Hicksville Color Guard. Nick Brigandi, Honorary Chief of the Hicksville Fire Department, led the pledge of allegiance followed by Erica Fuentes singing the national anthem.

“We’ve come here on this solemn day to pay our respects to those who were lost and to never forget the tragedy of September 11th,” said Karl Schweitzer, ex-chief and chair of the program. “The events of that day will never be forgotten. September 11th changed the world. We will never forget our fallen brothers. Their deaths, like their lives, will have meaning,” he said.

“Although we are reminded of the sadness, we are also reminded of how we came together and how we would not be defeated,” said Christopher Moskos, chief of the department. “We learned to take nothing for granted and to count our blessings.”

Schweitzer said that the memorial outside of the Hicksville Fire Station was established to provide the community with a place of solace in which they could come to mourn the local victims of the terror attacks. While bagpipes played “Amazing Grace” in the background, wreaths honoring Howard and Farrell were placed on either side of the memorial.

A solemn salute was held as Taps played in the background. After the wreaths were placed, all of the members of the fire department paid their respects with a salute at the memorial.

In addition to Farrell and Howard, the department also made sure to honor those lost from the Hicksville community. As a bell was rung for each of the nine residents who died in the World Trade Center attacks as a biography was read about each one, emotions ran high and many attendees were reduced to tears. The community members were then invited up to place red, white and blue carnations in front of it to honor those close to them who were killed on that September morning.

“We must never forget that happened that day. We must also honor all of those who perished fighting for our freedom in the War on Terror,” Schweitzer concluded.

The following are the Hicksville residents who died tragically on 9/11:

Nancy Bueche – Nancy worked for Aon Corp on the 102nd floor of Tower Two. She grew up in Richmond Hill and moved to Hicksville and leaves behind a daughter Bridget.

Mark Colaio - Mark worked at Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center’s north tower and was a graduate of Hicksville High School. He leaves behind his wife, June, a daughter Delaney and his son Joseph.

Stephen Colaio – Mark’s Brother Stephen also worked at Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center’s north tower and was a graduate of Hicksville High School. He leaves behind his mother, father and sister.

Thomas Pedicini – Thomas was Stephen and Mark Colaio’s brother-in-law and also worked for Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center’s north tower and was a graduate of Hicksville High School. Thomas leaves behind his mother and father.

Gilbert Granados - Gilbert worked for Aon Corp on the 98th floor of Tower Two. He also served as a reservist, Lieutenant Commander in the United States Coast Guard for 20 years and was an Operation Desert Storm Veteran. Gilbert moved from East Los Angeles to Hicksville while attending the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point. He leaves behind his wife, Teresa and two daughters; Kathleen and Maureen.

Steven Policino – Steve worked for Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th Floor of the World Trade Center, north tower. He graduated from Hicksville High School and after his marriage to Jane they moved to Plainview. He leaves behind a daughter Celeste and a son, Steven.

Kenneth Rice III - Kenneth worked for Marsh & McLennan on the 96th floor of Tower One and lived in Hicksville. He leaves behind a mother, father and two brothers.

Brian Terrenzi - Brian worked at Cantor Fitzgerald on the 101st floor of Tower One and lived in Hicksville. He leaves behind a daughter Elizabeth Brian who was born 3 months after September 11, 2001.

Walter Weaver - Walter was New York City Police Department officer serving in Emergency Services Unit Truck 3 located out of the Bronx. He became a New York City police officer in 1992 and was a graduate of Hicksville High School. Walter leaves behind his mother, father and two brothers.

News

Vastra boutique finds a niche

in hand-embroidered dresses

Who says a bride has to wear white on her wedding day? For South Asian brides, no color is off limits including brilliant reds, blues and golds. For the past 17 years, Vastra in Hicksville has been helping brides from New York and across the country find the perfect dress for their special day.

There’s no lack of Indian sari boutiques in Hicksville but according to Marketing Director Prachi Jain, what sets Vastra apart from the others is its emphasis on one of a kind, hand-embroidered Indian dresses.

Many would consider it rude to play with your food. That is unless, you’re participating in the Long Island Potato Festival. The event, which was held in Cutchogue, NY, included a mashed potato sculpting contest which was dominated by Hicksville’s Sarah Tsang, who won first place in the youth division.

Contestants were allowed to use any tools and materials to help bring their creation to life. Sculptures were left on display throughout the day and voted on by festival goers.


Sports

Somehow LSA, the Levittown Swimming Association, has always been a part of our Hicksville summers. My family’s introduction to the organization in 1975 began when our two older daughters tried out for the Parkway Swim Team, one of the nine teams that competed through July and most of August.

It was no small task for the younger girl, swimming her first full lap in the deep end of the pool to qualify at age six, but both girls made the team and donned the coveted gray tee shirts as the trees cast their shadows over the pool water at the end of practice.

I’m convinced that the soul and the center of Hicksville is Cantiague Park. And why not? Every weekend it’s a beehive of activity ranging from tennis matches, hand ball games, basketball and baseball games, swimming, hockey and of course ‘the beautiful game’ called soccer. Cantiague has two professional soccer fields that are perfectly manicured and begging to be played on. And they were. This weekend was the finals of the East Meadow Soccer Tournament which is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the nation, sponsored by the US Soccer Federation. There were 18 boys and girls teams in the finals and a large staff of referees.

Two of the refs were Steven Orozco and Randy Vogt who told me how soccer had been growing and has now become the second most popular participation sport in America with 25 million of us watching this year’s World Cup.  I also met and interviewed Joe Codispoti who along with Tim Bradbury is the head coach of Rockville Centre United, a U16 boys club.  This U16 team has a group of standout players led by  Jack Graziano, AJ Codispoti and Pat Basile who have been playing together for six years.


Calendar

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs and Ascended Masters

August 29

Adventures in Genealogy

September 4

Greek Festival

September 5-7



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com