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September 14, 2009 @ 11:35 am

Emperor’s Carelessness Shown On Staten Island

By Luke Crisalli
Grant City, Staten Island

Initially I didn’t want to politicize Friday in any way, shape, form or function. I wanted a day away from the grind, time to set aside petty differences, if even for just a minute.

Then it happened, and it changed my way of thinking.

Every September 11th, Staten Islanders gather by the hundreds in a small section of land near the St. George Ferry Terminal where Staten Island’s tribute to the 11th, entitled “Postcards” stands. There, 274 silhouettes show the Staten Islanders taken that day.

For the past eight years, Islanders have gathered there for a service each September 11th evening. At these services, there are a few brief speeches read, songs sung and doves released. Then it is capped by a reading of the names of all Islanders lost. Simple, yet immensely poignant.

This year was different. All day it had rained. Describing the weather as awful wouldn’t do it justice. It was a cold, hard, wind driven rain usually reserved for early November. While far from the worst maelstrom to hit our island, it’s timing was especially unfortunate. And yet Islanders still gathered, like they do every year. They came from the southernmost south shores of Tottenville to the northern island towns of West Brighton. Young and old, as they had every year now since the 11th.

Then we all waited for the ceremony to begin. And waited. And waited. As the cold misty drizzle turned into a increasingly windy downpour everyone began to wonder just what was taking so long. Every thing that could have been covered and tied down was. The elderly began to feel the pain of their age, as did many of the others. People squirmed and shifted, doing anything to keep warm, seeing as how dry had long gone out the window. Finally word came that there would be a delay due to the fact that the mayor was running late. Late by at least 20 minutes. 20 Minutes may not seem like much, but when you have people, many of whom have enough of a struggle being there to begin with, you can understand how everyone were less then pleased.

The ceremony could have started without him, and frankly, could have gone on completely without his presence. But instead, everyone stood in the cold pouring rain, being buffeted around by the unforgiving sea breeze coming in off the harbor. While the ponchos given out by the red cross were a nice gesture, they did little to keep the feet dry. A lack of any chairs will most likely result in many sore legs and feet, most assuredly felt by the elderly. This could have been eased if the ceremony had simply gone on as planned, but no, we were forced to wait to hear emperor bloomberg and his lapdog, christine quinn offer absolutely nothing to the proceedings.

This alone was enough to get not only my blood cooking, but others as well, as I heard many an angry remark in the crowd. But the “man in charge” was not yet done showing his complete lack of caring for the common person.

As the names of those lost were read aloud by family members, the mayor, in the front of the dignitary line was casually texting away on his Blackberry. As some poor family member was crying, struggling to make it through their list, the mayor carelessly played with his cell phone.

Now I do realize being the mayor of New York is an all day/all night job, but that does not leave one the right to disrespect those who are very clearly, and rightfully so I might add, still an emotional wreck. It could have waited. If he made all of us wait for him, then he can just as easily check his phone in a few minutes, but no, he shows again how little he cares for the real people. To him, we’re nothing.

This is the kind of selfish behavior one would expect from a 10-year-old, not an adult.

Then again, we are talking about one of the most selfish uncaring individuals on the planet. One who changed the law to bow to his favor. Are we really that surprised? I guess we just aren’t important enough.

If he truly cared about the people, I wouldn’t be writing this. There are other choices! Remember this come November when you go to the polls.

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