Boyle-ing Points by Kevin Boyle
Beach 118 Street was named for a fallen hero, John Moran, this past Saturday. It was a spectacularly beautiful day, eerily reminiscent of that horrible day in September two years ago. Maybe every beautiful day in early September will remind of us of a day we should never forget. That wouldn’t be a bad thing. It’s good to remember. Let’s hope the sign with John’s name above the boardwalk will remind us, too.
In some ways, John was representative of so many who were lost on September 11, 2001. Like many, he was an emergency responder—-a Battalion Chief with the FDNY. But he was a lawyer, too. And a husband and father. Devoted son. Musician. Kayaker. A person living a full life—-just like so many who were killed that day.
We should remember those who died that day. The people. The heroes. The emergency responders of stripes, the civilians who risked their lives or simply helped when it was needed. So many people we’ll never know about. People died and families were devastated, crushed and things will never be the same, of course. In an odd way, however, the rest of us have benefited. We got to see the good that came out of that day—-the countless acts of bravery, sacrifice, generosity, and kindness. The victims share a legacy: they inspired a country. They must’ve been some people.
So often, our political leaders squabble and act with questionable motives. So often, sports stars are revealed as selfish and worse. But we shouldn’t be looking to them for much, anyway.
We should be reminded of something that we learned on September 11. Something that seems evident but has proved elusive: heroes are every day people. They’re all around us. Fire fighters and cops. Regular people, too. Anything happens again? They’d be there again.
Boyle-ing over: **Please remember to give blood this Sunday (September 14) at St. Francis de Sales gym on Beach 129 Street. The Graybeards are sponsoring a blood drive (with the Long Island Blood Service) and are looking to set some kind of record for most pints collected. Let’s give! No sweat, no tears, just a little blood and don’t forget—-you get free cookies, too. Which is no small attraction for some. I saw one guy last year attack those Oreos like a starving pit bull. Everyone else kept their fingers out of his path.
Anyway, whether you go for the cookies or not, please give. When they open the blood donor hall of fame you’ll be able to lay claim to part of the plaque on the wall.
**Want to look spiffy and do something good? Shirts are available— at a bargain— with the familiar slogan: "Rockaway—It’s Not Just a Beach —-It’s a Lifestyle" and the sale of apparel supports the Rockaway / St. Camillus Special Olympics. Buy them through Flip and Rita Mullen. The Mullens ran a fundraiser over the summer and still have a few shirts left—-give ‘em a call: 718-945-4593.
**Hope you made it to the beach last weekend. The waves were great, the sand was clean, the air was fresh. No one drowned, people picked up their garbage.
**My take on block parties: that’s when you invite friends and family from other blocks to sit in front of your house (it’s a good hedge against having to talk to your neighbors).