The tide came in high this week in New York and all around the tri-state area, and not many were spared from the wrath of nature’s power. This week’s post will be kept simple in honor of those from the tri-state area of New York who were lost, those who are suffering and those who remain on guard — specifically The National Guard. These men and women who are busy 24-7, providing hope, supplies and strength to the New York area region. Especially one infantry, a historical gem, New York’s famed Fighting 69th (a la James Cagney!)
According to the National Guard’s website, New York as the third most populous state in the U.S., “was on the forefront of adopting the term ‘National Guard.’ The state officially mandated the name for its militia units during the Civil War, before the U.S. government officially adopted it in 1916. The New York Army National Guard has served its state and country throughout history, but its strength was tested on 9/11. After the terrorist attacks, the entire New York Guard was called upon. Soldiers in New York City and from all around the state assisted in security, traffic control and communications around the World Trade Center.” Then came . . . Sandy.
Units of the Army National Guard are busy joining forces from across the United States to aid the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the blast that came, conquered, killed, and left millions in chaos. Our Dad is keeping up-to-date in Afghanistan via the Internet of the problems we’re experiencing back home knowing that, even if he were home — he’d be out there, somewhere in boroughs of New York helping out in this disaster alongside his comrades of the 42nd ID, especially those at the 69th in NYC who remain much like their Irish wolfhound motto – gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked.
Recently, Our Dad’s Flag had the honor of spending time with Lt. Colonel James Gonyo, current Commander of the Fighting 69th during the Army’s 237th Birthday celebration held in Duffy Square — the heart of N.Y.C.’s Times Square — with Major General Patrick A. Murphy and chief of Staff, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno. The birthday cake? An Army tank made by none other than Buddy, The Cake Boss! (Whose Hoboken, NJ bakery sustained major outages in the hurricaine.)
This was a very special visit as the 69th is an extra special division to Our Dad and his relatives. They have ancestors who served “back in the day” and who are featured on the archived walls of the Amory as part of its glorious history dating back to the Civil War. Our family’s special thanks to LtC. Gonyo, Major General Murphy & co. for participating in Our Dad’s Flag.
The Fighting 69th in addition to numerous other branches of the National Guard have been the go-to in this natural disaster. Among so many other efforts they’re involved in, days ago LtC. Gonyo and his troops were responsible for the evacuation of Bellevue Hospital and hauling fuel up numerous flights to feed the failing generators. Of the photos Our family has seen on television and via the Internet, the children hold most dear any that feature a child, stuffed animal or dog being rescued. Especially this shot by Associated Press photographer Craig Ruttle of the dog named Shaggy, being rescued by National Guardsmen in New Jersey. Thank you to all on guard!
Faith, Hope, & Charity
Please keep New York and the tri-state area and others beyond affected by Sandy in your thoughts and prayers. As Our children and I sat watching the Hurricane Sandy Come Together Concert the kids collected their coins and bills to donate and created their own memory boxes to take with them, “just in case.”
The time is now to have faith, hope, and charity. 1-800-HelpNow (1-800-435-7669). The American Red Cross.
Under the Boardwalk
With this disaster, Our Dad’s Flag has seemingly made some flag visits come full-circle around the tri-state and then some! Sandy not only destroyed the ultimate boardwalk in Atlantic City but put Mayor Bloomberg to task, rattled the folks of Staten Island, NY who love the Steven Siller Tunnel to Tower Run (who are now funding the Hurricane Sandy Relief fund), activated first responders of the F.D.N.Y. like Jim McGlynn, rallied support from President Obama and put those on guard – the National Guard & the Fighting 69th to work. Our Dad’s Flag has kept some great company. The flag was slated to run in New York City’s Marathon (Dad’s brother-in-law had planned on running his 23rd consecutive NYC Marathon in memory of his friend Jim Lynch while wearing Our Dad’s Flag) but the folks in charge decided it was more important to help those suffering in NYC and the surrounding areas with food, supplies and goods from the marathon.
Our Dad’s Flag continues to tour while we all continue to heal. Be on guard. Be ready. Remember, any disaster — of any kind — is only a few steps behind. So let’s all be prepared and be supportive of the United States of America – here and over there.
Thank you for reading . . . and to any of our followers in “those” areas (especially in Staten Island, Queens and down the Shore) Our Dad’s Flag is with you . . . and for those followers, we know who you are! Let us know what you need. xoxo. For others, remember to have faith, hope and charity.
It’s quite a week to be in a New York State of Mind…and we miss Our Dad more than ever!