Heroes Among Us: “Hey, I Know That Guy…”

Photos of firemen responding to September 11th

Heroes Among Us. You may recall that we hosted a show of previously unshared works by Photojournalist Peter Foley. Soon after it opened, Firefly Steve Walker came in and saw his neighbor.

“What a story,” said Steve, when he told me, “9/11, yeah, but not for why you think. This guy’s a regular hero. You’ve got to meet him.”
 
I am so glad I did. His wife, too.
 
More soon…
 

Peter Foley’s website is here. You may find Synchronicity’s own tribute to 9/11 here.

Tribute to “Our Heroes” by Peter Foley at the Firefly

Photos of firemen responding to September 11th

These images from September 11th and immediate aftermath, collectively titled “Our Heroes,” are on view at The Firefly Artists at 90 Main Street in Northport through 9/14. This is just a small piece of an incredibly moving collection captured by photojournalist Peter Foley

We of The Firefly Artists are honored to host this special window exhibition entitled, “Our Heroes.”

This show of works by photojournalist Peter Foley honors the NYC Firefighters who ran in to do what they could in the aftermath of 9/11.

It’s kind of nice the way we were able to tuck it in at our westernmost window. A few pieces face inward, a few out. It provides good space for quiet reflection.

May these pieces remind us that, no matter how bad things get, there are those among us who will run in to give all they have to make them better.

May we ever honor and care for the heroes. May we ever arc toward our most noble ideals. May we live to be worthy of such sacrifice…

Images are available for purchase. You may find Synchronicity’s own tribute to that day here.

We Will Never Forget…

Photo of the WTC memorial lights by Colin Hopkins

We Will Never Forget… Photo of the WTC memorial lights by Colin Hopkins, Local 580 Iron Workers. Colin was on week three of work when the towers fell, a day when these folks and many others who never expected to be such, came to serve as first responders and who continued working at the site for weeks after the attack. Later, Colin was also among those present at work who got to witness the Freedom Spire rise…

We Will Never Forget…

It’s been years since this was first written. The children are older…there are adults now who have no memory of this day, while those of us who lived through it will never forget. The sentiment remains the same…

Over the last two and half decades, we have learned a new rhythm….The end of summer comes, there is a flurry of activity about getting kids prepared for and off to school, and then, the moment all settles down the weight of solemn remembrance overshadows everything but the realization of how lucky we are to have that terrible event cast such a pall over our beings only once a year. Our hearts go out to so many others who lost so much…who experienced so much…who have since endured so much…

We remember the first puzzled and then stunned and horrified voices of the professionals whose job it is to tell us the bad news every day. We recall the images that replayed, the bells that rang, the world that all but stopped.

We remember the selfless bravery of firemen who went in where anyone in their “right mind” would be running out.

We remember the horrific loss of 2,977 innocent lives, including 343 of those firemen, 60 police officers and 8 EMTS. We remember the probability that anyone we encountered may have just lost someone dear. We remember how some of those who perished did so heroically apprehending hijackers and crashing their own plane.

Our hearts twist in the simultaneous gratitude for the miracle of how, despite intense confusion, so many lived to tell their tale or simply were not there.

We remember the people walking over the Brooklyn Bridge…covered in dust…the people being rescued from the end of Manhattan Island…the people desperately seeking people who would never be found.

We remember the school children who did not know. We remember the teachers who did, but could not tell them. We remember the beautiful day slowly overcast by those beautiful, yet terrible clouds. We remeber the taste. We remember the smell.

We remember the iron workers, the dock builders and the other hard working Long Islanders who heard of the disaster and raced to the scene to see if they could be of service. We remember those who spent weeks upon weeks shoveling through the twisted debris. We remember the price so many have paid for their commitment.

We give thanks to all who give so much to see them cared for. We wonder why they’ve had to fight so hard.

We remember being implored to go out and live. We remember being told it was patriotic to shop. We remember wishing there was something more meaningful to do. We remember Paul McCartney and the musicians he gathered to play for the world and those first responders. We remember Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick who were on Broadway as The Producers, and how they epitomized the notion that “the show must go on.”…how meaningful it was to simply carry on.

We remember the brave men and women who have been at war ever since that fateful day. We pray that they and all the others who bear intense burdens and indelible scars will be properly cared for. We pray for a peace that seems so very far away.

We look down at children, and now young adults, who never knew the days before then; who never wondered at those impossibly tall buildings but may have marveled at those even taller beams of light; who never felt that fateful day; who look at us in bewilderment at the ongoing challenges, both at home and abroad…who wish, sometimes loudly, other times in quiet sighs, that the adults of this world would finally grow up.

We remember the noble ideals that we stand for. We remember how innocent we were. We realize on how much has changed since then, including an explosion of communication that somehow seems to have opened chasms between good people of different perspectives, and tidal waves of information that seem to only muddy any sense we once had of the truth. We reflect on how much we still have to learn, and on how much we seem to have forgotten…

We remind ourselves that while the battle may rage on within our hearts and across this world, we must never let terror win. We must never let the blind hatred that enables it to win. We must overcome.

But how?

The words of many sages come to mind; visionaries and scholars of so many cultures and kinds. We keep coming back to the wisest ones; the ones who seem to have mattered the most…

Over and over they whisper from the ages the same small, powerful yet humble, healing, overcoming, uplifting light of a word…

And so…we reflect…on Love.

Syosset Road Renamed in Honor of Gus Scutari

Photo of Gus Scutari and Eagle Scouts of Syosset Troop 205

Gus Scutari with Eagle Scouts from Troop 205 in 2019. Photo by Katheryn Laible

Today, a portion of Underhill Boulevard in Syosset was renamed in honor of one of Long Island’s most ardent champions of Americanism and good citizenship, the passionate organizer of the Syosset Memorial Day Parade, Gus Scutari.

You can read about it on the Nassau County NY webpage.

You can find images from the event taken by Gus’ friend, whom he smartly recruited to join the Syosset American Legion, Terri Squires on the Legion’s Facebook Page.

Gus passed away early this spring at the age of 99. Here is the piece we got to write with him: Gus Scutari: Syosset’s Humble Champion of Americanism. He had a number of interesting things to say that we are still thinking about.

He is dearly missed and greatly appreciated. Thank you, Gus.

In Memoriam: Gus Scutari

Photo of Gus Scutari at 2019 Memorial Day Parade by Katheryn Laible

We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Costantino “Gus” Scutari, shortly after his 99th birthday.

Gus dedicated his life to promoting good, thoughtful citizenship, love for our country and properly honoring our nation’s fallen military service folk. The proud Americanism Chairman of Nassau County, Gus is perhaps best known in Syosset for his dedication to the Memorial Day Parade. Among our Scouts, he was also well known for faithfully attending every Eagle Ceremony, where he would honor all those who achieved that high rank with an American Flag pin.

It was an honor and a privilege to have this gentleman as a fundamental part of our community. Here are stories of his life, things that mattered to him, and bits of his wisdom that he shared with us a few years ago.

Here’s a little video from the 2019 Syosset Memorial Day Parade, which, with a little help from his friends, he organized from his room at the Cold Spring Hills Nursing Home last year. Here are some photos from that day.

Here is Gus, in his own words, telling the story of when his destroyer, the U.S.S. Haynsworth was hit by a Kamikaze during World War II. He always counted himself very lucky that he didn’t have to see the worst of that, and was ever mindful of so many – during that conflict and others – who did.

We feel we are better people for having known Gus. Our hearts are with all who love him. He will be dearly missed.

Thank you, Gus.