My letter has a three-fold message to all of Glen Cove and its residents. As we mark two very important November holidays, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Day, I would like to give thanks to our veterans for their efforts toward making our country the greatest. Very often your contributions may have been taken for granted, but be grateful, there will always be someone who remembers. As long as we have Angelo Capobianco, military historian, none of you will be forgotten. As the wife of an honoree, Alfred J. Carbuto, USMC, I can't tell you how proud our family was of my husband's military achievements. But this should never detract from other veterans' contributions -- there were so many of you -- from A to Z, it would take forever to acknowledge your efforts. The roster would include many fine men and women who served with pride and from diverse backgrounds -- blacks, Hispanics, Irish, Italians, Jewish and Polish. If I missed anyone, please accept my apology. The women who served during World War II, that I recall, were Ms. Buckawick, Ms. Whitely and Ms. Ann Yuchniewkz, USNC, Ms. Walczak, USN and Ozzie (De Luca) Montello, WAAC. For those of us who are still here in Glen Cove, let us remember all those who served and a special prayer for our Gold Star mothers, the late Mrs. Young and Mrs. Mary Flollari who is still with us. Thanks!
The second message I'd like to extend is the way a dilemma was diverted - the charter school issue. If you know me personally, you may be asking yourselves, how long would it be before I would express my comments. It didn't take too long, did it? How can anyone in their right minds think that they could come from another town and speak for the Italians? No way. Please note that the whole world is not Italian or Greek. Having a charter school in the so-called "Italian" neighborhood would set our community back 70 years. How dare you come in and tell us how important it is for us to develop our cultural backgrounds? We are not "goffones!* You have not lived in Glen Cove, so you don't know how proud we are of our heritage and home town. Many of my peers were so proud of their backgrounds.
My fondest memories were from our childhood -- sharing my pepper and egg sandwich (leaking oil) on Sanfratello's Italian bread with my classmates who exchanged their kielbasi, tuna salad, bologna and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. If I had gone to a charter school, I would never know what a prune-filled hamentash was, nor rugelagh, or halvah. Would I have ever known Mrs. Nesbitt and her mile-high biscuits and thick hot chocolate? The Nesbitt family was black and lived on Bella Vista Avenue, right in the heart of Franklin Park's "Little Italy." None of our parents worried about a black family who might bring down property value. Also, what does the charter school group know about religious freedom we all enjoy and have never taken for granted. I love having my grandchildren sharing their religious background with their peers -- this is what America is all about; tolerance, respect, love and compassion for all others, regardless of race, color or creed.
If there are parents who want a private school education for their children, then they're doing it the right way -- it's a private choice, one that I and many others made back in the '50s. Can you imagine the gall of these few persons who made remarks about the quality of education our children are getting? Take a good, long look at the list of prestigious schools our high school graduates are getting into. That should rattle your cages and cause you to notice and perhaps peddle your ideas in another town. Oh, by the way, where are your faces now, after the rating your Great Neck schools got as recently noted in a TV newscast? Again, the age-old adage, "People who live in glass houses, should not throw stones."
I'd like to wrap up this segment by saying, thanks to all of you who showed up at the Nov. 6 meeting. What a show of solidarity and what a boost to all the teachers who serve with pride. Maybe now, we can get on with our lives and hopes for our children of Glen Cove.
Support your schools, its administrators, and, yes, get out and see where your tax dollars are going -- sporting events, concerts, Broadway shows and musicals and, be sure to read your local school news and see the achievements our "kids" are making.
In conclusion, this last portion of my letter is for our local paper's editor, Zefy. Thanks for your local coverage of notable events: Golden weddings, veterans' news and sporting events. The Record Pilot is beginning to look like a hometown newspaper. Wherever the future takes me, I will always be so proud of my "home town!" Thanks for the opportunity to express my gratitude to all of you, and, of course, this includes the leaders of our community, Mayor Tom Suozzi and the city council.
* Goffones: Person(s) lacking social graces.