Friday, 09 October 2009 00:00
On Friday, Sept. 25, the members of the Mineola Fire Department assembled at headquarters to pay homage to their brother firefighter, Michael Marotta, who proudly serves as a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps. Corporal Marotta is a combat engineer, and will be serving as a squad leader in a Light Armored Reconnaissance Division when he deploys to Afghanistan this month. The firefighters came together along with firefighter Marotta’s parents and his brother Andrew, who is also a firefighter in Engine Company #1, to offer well wishes and thanks to Mike.
In Michael’s absence, the members of the Mineola Fire Department will commemorate his service by flying a two-star military service flag. Mike joins Sgt. Matthew Doyle of Engine Company #3, who is also serving in U.S. military, as members of the Mineola Fire Department who are serving their country. These service flags are proudly displayed on the department’s “First Due” apparatus from each company in honor of members serving in the military.
Mineola Fire Department Chief Robert Connolly recognized Michael for his commitment not only to the village but also to his country. Chief Connolly presented Corporal Marotta with a Saint Florian Medal. As the patron Saint of firefighters, it is said that St. Florian watches over our bravest as they battle fires. Legend holds that Florian once saved an entire town from a conflagration with a single bucket of water.
Chief Connolly asked that Michael carry a bucket of courage so that he may return home safe to again serve the village. In keeping with fire service tradition, Michael was given a heroes send-off including a tribute from the department’s bagpipers, Tom Behan, Brendan Behan and Denis Clark. As the three bagpipers played the Marine Corp hymn, Mike immediately snapped to attention. “Semper Fi,” the Marine motto, comes from the Latin “Semper fidelis,” which means always faithful.
The entire village will be awaiting Mike’s safe return and wish him all the best in service to our country. May all our thoughts and prayers serve to guide and protect you while you are away.