Raise the trumpets and beat the drums. The 39th annual Brooklyn Columbus Parade, which is sponsored by the Federation of Italian American Organizations, will take place on Saturday, Oct. 9. It will likely be on a smaller scale due to the lingering effects of the coronavirus and the difficulty securing participation by some schools and bands. This year marks the 529th anniversary of Italian navigator Christopher Columbus’ first voyage, which resulted in the discovery of the New World in 1492.
This festive parade also celebrates the Italian heritage of thousands of Brooklynites. The grand marshals will lead the march along Cristoforo Colombo Boulevard (18th Avenue), kicking off at 1 p.m., from 61st Street to Benson Avenue, site of the reviewing stand in front of the El Centro Italian American community center. The marshals are Ana Oliveira, Investors Bank senior vice president; Nicholas Cutaneo, entrepreneur for C & C Catering; Principal Andrea Cillotta of the Brooklyn Studio Secondary School; and a representatives from Maimonides Medical Center.
Attorney Carlo Scissura, FIAO chairman, will once again serve as the parade emcee. G. Jack Spatola is the executive parade chairman and Barbara Pascarella is the parade chairwoman. In recognition of those who have been at the forefront of serving various populations during the challenging times of COVID-19, the committee has announced the parade theme will be “Building Back Community.”
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Fort Hamilton Army Base held its 20th anniversary 9/11 commemoration ceremony on Friday, Sept. 10 at 11 a.m. U.S. Army Garrison Commander Col. Craig Martin welcomed all the attendees. The guest speaker was firefighter Joseph Esposito, who just completed his 36th year of service. Esposito is a member of FDNY Rescue Unit 5 on Staten Island. There was a roll call reading of NYC first responders who were members of the Armed Services and were killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The proceedings also included a 21-gun salute, “Taps” and a wreath-laying.
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Over at the Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance on the west wall of Maimonides Park in Coney Island there was a prayer service and candlelight vigil Sept. 10. FDNY Chief of the Department Thomas Richardson introduced two recent Congressional Medal of Honor recipients and Team 3 U.S. Navy Seal Kevin Lucz for their reflections on 9/11. Family members also gave reflections and placed roses on the pictures of their lost loved ones.