President’s Letter – June 2013
Greetings & Summertime Salutations,
In just a few short weeks the summer season will officially kick-off. A season that most if not all of us absolutely love (save for those really hot & humid days) due to the warm weather, outdoor activities and casual family gatherings which produce memories that last a lifetime.
The summer allows us to be active yet a little lazy at the same time. For example, we have a lot of prep work for outdoor barbeques, trips to the beach or entertaining by the pool. Once everything is set-up and ready for the fun we can all kick back on a lounge chair or picnic blanket, grab our favorite beverage and lay back and soak up some rays. Oh if you’re soaking up the sun please remember to apply that sunscreen; after all I am obligated to inform you about that.
For me, the summer season starts every year with our Annual Holbrook Memorial Day Parade. As I write this monthly column, I have just finished up with the parade festivities. This year although we got off to a shaky start with getting the corner of Main St. and Grundy Ave. closed it ended up being the best Memorial Day Observance I have ever been a part of. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, our Little Miss & Mr. Holbrook looked splendid riding in the back of Fred Coste’s truck all decked out with signage supporting our local businesses. Bea Hoffer Owner and Editor of the Our Place Newspapers, Chamber Board Member and the unofficial Queen Mum of Holbrook joined our Little Miss Kyleigh and Mr. Peter in waving to the crowds that lined both Main St. and Grundy Ave. We were also joined by the Holbrook Fire Department, The Boy Scouts, Sequoya Middle School Marching Band, several Chamber members including the Coste Agency, Larry McKenna of Coldwell Banker and a huge group of students and parents from Busto’s Martial Arts. Truly a great community spirit was felt as the parade headed south down to the Alex DiGuardia Holbrook Veteran’s Memorial that has been located on Grundy Ave since 1971.
The Memorial Day ceremony was well attended by many of the local residents along with two of the finest clergymen I have ever met in Rabbi Steven Moss from Temple B’nai Israel of Oakdale and longtime Holbrook Resident along with Monsignor Thomas Spadaro of Good Shepherd Church. They both separately led us in opening prayers. It was an honor to have Past Commander of VFW Post 9486 and Holbrook Resident Phil Lorito speak on behalf of his VFW as well as American Legion Post 155 and AMVETS Post 48. Phil gave a very insightful speech on the meaning of Memorial Day and reminded us all that it is not a holiday but a day of remembrance. It was stirring to hear how many of our military have been lost throughout U.S. History, Phil provided the amount deceased from each war/conflict with the final count exceeding over a million lives lost. It should also be recognized once again that VFW Post 9486 under Phil’s guidance, tremendous effort and due diligence has been the caretaker of the Memorial on Grundy Avenue for a number of years now.
It was heartwarming to see truly one of the greatest Holbrook Residents and Suffolk County Government Officials of our time in Legislator Bill Lindsay. This is Bill’s last year in office and we will miss him greatly but do hope he continues to join us for our future parades. NYS Assemblyman Al Graf also a Holbrook Resident, longtime dedicated Chamber member who will soon have his district office on Main St. in Holbrook spoke about thanking our Veterans when and wherever we see them. Islip Town Councilman Steve Flotteron attended the memorial as well. Councilman Flotteron has always had a soft spot for Holbrook and often goes out of his way to attend our community events.
To conclude the ceremony and parade, TAPS was played by Sequoya Middle School Student Christian Marinelli. The Chamber then proceeded down to the Holbrook Fire Dept. Headquarters to join the Dept. in their ceremony.
Our Memorial Day parade had it all, a fallen Hero’s’ family in the DiGuardia’s, a past Commander of our VFW educating us on what the day truly means. A wonderful and community friendly Fire Department, Distinguished Guests & Clergy, a marching band from a Sachem School, our local Boy Scout troops, various Chamber business owners marching with us and last but by no means least a number of Holbrook Veterans who gave us a thumbs up and a thank you. The approval from our Veterans alone made this for me personally the best parade of over fifteen parades prior that I had the honor of participating in. Holbrook once again showed that we are forever grateful for our freedom and to those who served and sacrificed for us to have it.
In closing, we would like to wish all of our Dad’s a very happy Father’s Day and to our Graduating students both from high school and college all the best for the future.
All the Best Always,
Rick Ammirati, President
Holbrook Chamber of Commerce