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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

Local veterans groups and residents gathered at Hicksville Middle School Veterans Memorial Park recently to honor brave servicemen and woman, past and present. William M. Gouse Jr. Post 3211 hosted Hicksville’s annual Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11.

The ceremonies began with the pledge and national anthem sung by Hicksville High School student Cassie Pursoo, accompanied by trumpeter Conner Hoelzer. Monsignor Thomas Costa from Our Lady of Church in Hicksville gave the invocation.

On Nov. 10, a dedication ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of a beautiful new two-story house in Hicksville. However, while new dwellings are an ordinary occurrence on Long Island, this one was unique and special in a way that very few are.

The house at 77 Thorman Ave. was built in memory of Navy Lieutenant and posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Michael P. Murphy, a Long Island native who tragically died in combat while serving in Afghanistan in 2005. However, this house represents more than just the dedicated service of a man to his country; it represents the beginning of a new life full of hope for a brother-in-arms and his family as well.


Sports

Football was Mike Torrellas’ heart and soul. He also liked a good Turkey Bowl.  

Unfortunately, the Hicksville Crusaders co-founder wasn’t able to witness the program’s inaugural event, which took place Saturday, Nov. 8.

Torrellas passed away suddenly last December due to a blood clot, but the spirit and drive of the man who wore the number 53 and tragically passed at that age still surrounds the Crusaders football program.

The Long Island Fight for Charity will be hosting its 11th annual Charity Boxing Event on Nov. 24 at the Hilton in Melville. Among the 20 volunteers putting up their fists for funds will be Hicksville business owner Mell Goldman, who will be fighting under the nickname “The Kid.”  

Goldman is the President of All Boro Cleaning Services. He stated that he was enticed at the opportunity and wanted to contribute to charity.


Calendar

Fall Drama Production

November 20-22

Blood Drive

November 24

Christmas Holiday Fair

November 24



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