This past winter, Franklin Square native and U.S. Astronaut Mike Massimino was a member of a crew that blasted off into space for a mission, the STS-109, to repair the Hubble Telescope.
For Massimino, a graduate of the John Street School and H. Frank Carey School in Franklin Square, the mission was the first space flight for the man who hasn't forgotten his Franklin Square roots. Among the items he took up into space was a T-shirt from the John Street School and a banner from Carey High School.
"All my childhood memories were from Franklin Square. All my best friends from that time I still stay in touch with and I love going back to visit," Massimino said in an interview with the Three Village Time prior to the mission.
Next month, Franklin Square will honor its hometown hero with a gala parade. Local organizations are receiving their invitations to pay tribute to Franklin Square's space traveler.
The parade will take place on Sunday, June 9 and will assemble off Franklin Avenue in the vicinity of First, Second and Third Avenues at 12:15 p.m. Step-off time is 1 p.m. The parade will proceed north on Franklin Avenue to Hempstead Turnpike, then east on Hempstead Turnpike to Claflin Boulevard to Naple Avenue and then finally west on Naple to its conclusion at Rath Park, where the Town of Hempstead showmobile will be set up.
Elected officials and community leaders will offer tributes to Massimino, who is expected to greet his friends and neighbors with some words of his own.
All Franklin Square area organizations and citizens are invited to turn out for this patriotic welcome. The parade coordinating committee consists of Nassau County Legislator John Ciotti, Frank Cutolo of the Franklin Square Chamber of Commerce, Annette Calabrese of John Street School, Joe Entler of the Franklin Square Little League, Vincent Nocerino of VFW Post 2718 and Dr. Paul van Wie of the Franklin Square Historical Society.