Earlier this evening I attended the Inspection Dinner for the West Harrison Fire Department. I am very proud to serve as the Chaplain for our Fire Department and I love all of its members very much. We owe all of our firefighters a great debt of gratitude for what they do each and every day usually unknown and underappreciated. All of our firefighters are volunteers and they put in a tremendous amount of time to keep all of us safe. This year’s dinner was particularly special because it was a time to honor our Department Chief who is not seeking re-election for another term next year. Chief Pat Galluzzo has served with great distinction as Chief and he has made our department very proud! Thank you Pat for all of your tireless efforts on behalf of our department and our entire community. We honor you and thank you for everything you have done! Pat received a plethora of accolades and awards at tonights dinner that are very much deserved. Mayor Joan Walsh declared November 4, 2010 Chief Pat Galluzzo Day in the Town and Village of Harrison. And, County Legislator John Nonna declared tomorrow November 5, 2010 Chief Pat Galluzzo Day in the County of Westchester. If Pat gets pulled over for speeding tomorrow I suspect he will be given a pass! LOL.
Below I would like to offer two poems read at tonight’s dinner. They are quite beautiful and meaningful to all firefighters. I think they will be to anyone who reads them. And, I hope they help to create a greater appreciation amongst everyone in the community for the efforts of our Firefighters, Police Officers and EMS workers who are always there for us when we need them. Thanks to all of you!!
The following was read by me when I prayed the Invocation.
“When I am called to duty, God wherever flames may rage, give me the strength to save some life whatever be its age.
Help me embrace a little child before it is too late, or save an older person from the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert and hear the weakest shout, and quickly and efficiently to put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling and to give the best in me to guard my every neighbor and protect their property.
And if according to your will I have to loose my life please bless with your protecting hand my children and my wife.”
At the end of dinner Westchester County Legislator John Nonna read the following poem called “Brave Volunteers”.
“Scared, cold, in pain, the dust hasn’t settled yet. Pinned in, crying, my clothes are ripped, red and wet. Lights, noise and confusion, all part of the night. I’m going to die alone, give up the fight.
Red lights are flashing, mixed with blue. A face appears at my window, the face is you. ‘You’re gonna be all right’ is the first thing you say. A reassuring voice, someone wants me to stay.
You could have been home with family, they need you too. You worked all day at the job, your sleeping hours numbered two. But you went down the hall, hoping your family was OK. Now you’re here with me and Death, with comforting words to say”.
Me with Assistant Chief Steve Mancini at the Fire House. You will notice in all of the pictures I am proudly wearing my Fire Department Chaplain Shield. It is gold designating me as an Officer in the Department.
Firefighters line up for inspection. Everyone and everything looks perfect! The weather is chilly and damp.
Me with New York Supreme Court Judge Dennis Donovan. I’m always so happy to spend time with Judge Donovan because he has some of the best jokes of anyone I know. And, he has a way of telling them that is priceless.
Here I am pictured with three extraordinary men, from left to right, Chief Rich Lyman of White Plains Fire Department, Jim Feeney of ConEd and Public Safety Commissioner David Chong of the White Plains Police Department and Fire Department. They all do such a super job!
Chief Pat Galluzzo makes remarks during the dinner. Pat just became a grandfather a couple of days ago. Congratulations Pat and our best to Jaimie and all the family! We are so proud of you and for you!!
Commissioner Chong and me.
White Plains Mayor Emeritus Joseph Delfino and me. Mayor Joe is a very special friend to me and to our community.
Me with Mayor Joan Walsh of Harrison. Mayor Walsh is a parishioner of Saint Anthony’s and is one of our Lectors. She is very involved in the parish in many ways and she is always extremely helpful to our parish and to the entire community. Thank you Mayor Walsh!
I am very proud of this picture! Me with New York City Police Officer Robert Salerno. Bobby is one of our parishioners and he has made a miraculous recovery from the near-death incident he was involved in on March 22, 2010. I thank God every day that he is alive and safe. Bobby you look fantastic and you are an inspiration to us all! God bless you and keep you!