Boos Were Out Of Place
Please don’t rain on my parade.
I am not one to write letters to the editor... this would actually be my first... but, I feel compelled to respond to last week’s headline about Bloomberg being booed at the Rockaway parade. The headline seemed almost celebratory in nature and I have a problem with it.
As a lifelong resident (over 55 years...including hurricane Donna), and not being a big fan of this parade for reasons that need not be discussed here, I have still attended every one since its inception, and have always stood and cheered for every single marcher that has participated. This year I was more than ever looking forward to the parade for obvious reasons. We, the Rockaway community, needed this one to lift our spirits and to thank the marchers; the out-of-towners that came to support us, fellow Sandy victims from Staten Island, the NYC departments that did a most outstanding job of rescue, cleanup, crime and traffic control, etc., not to mention all of our local businesses, schools and organizations who have suffered as much as the rest of us, and others that I may (my apologies) have failed to mention. Oh and, of course, the politicians.
So, I’ll cut to the chase. The parade is supposed to be a celebration, not a forum for political vitriol. This year in particular was a celebration of Rockaway even more so than one for the Irish. I have had many differences with the Mayor throughout his tenure, but the bottom line is this: the FDNY did an amazing, incredibly heroic, job during the night of the storm, the SDNY did (and still are doing) the gargantuan task of cleanup after the storm, and the NYPD and the NYPD Traffic Dept. did a fantastic job of keeping order during a most chaotic time. Not to mention Rapid Repair, the subsidies to the ferry, and so on.
So, please, be thankful for the things that we did get. All of the departments mentioned above are departments in the city of which Mike Bloomberg is the Mayor. Yes, we need jetties, yes we need replenishment (these may be fed issues... Army Corp of Engineers ?), and yes, it was a huge and insensitive mistake to expect the marathon to be held during the time when we were suffering. But, Mayor Mike did back off. He made a mistake. However, despite all of this, I personally am thankful for all that was done for us, from NYC and its (our) employees, as well as the wonderful, generous, and gracious volunteers from the Mormons, Iraqi veterans, Buddhists, and each other...our neighbors.
So please show some gratitude and save the vitriol for town meetings and the election booth, the parade is not the platform. I, for one, was embarrassed by it. I stood and cheered in the freezing cold for everyone who marched until my hands were numb. Thanks to all!
And on a personal note... thank you to the Fitzgerald family for hosting the best St. Patrick’s Day parade party ever!