Port Chester celebrated in style.
After an evening of recognizing Port Chester’s students, veterans and scouts in Ryan Stadium at Port Chester High School, an outstanding firework display was set off to celebrate America.
“Today is about recognizing not a division of American but all of America,” said Assemblyman George Latimer. “Today is the day where we look at each other remind ourselves that we are all Americans. Have a happy birthday America.”
The night began with the Pledge of Allegiance being delivered by Port Chester Scout Abraham Monis. Former Mayor Gerald Logan then introduced the guests and welcomed the audience.
Rye Town Supervisor Joseph Carvin gave a rousing speech about the meaning of the special day and the meaning of being an American.
“Our country is being challenged as never before,” said Carvin. “We have high unemployment rates and fiscal crisis but there has never been a challenge in 236 years that we haven’t met and surpassed.”
Port Chester Mayor Dennis Pilla was also in attendance to deliver a message to the crowds.
“As we gather today to celebrate the birth of our nation and to remember those who fought for our freedoms, we are sitting here living the dream of our forefathers,” said Pilla. “A dream of liberty, a dream of equality and a dream of opportunity.”
Each of the Fourth of July 2012 Student Contest Winners was called up and recognized with a trophy and a mini flag to wave. This year’s contest was based on the question “What is the Bill of Rights?” and nearly 60 students were recognized. The list of student winners are attached to this article.
Nancy Logan read off the names of the 2012 Independence Day Observance Committee members, Gabriella Buccieri delivered a riveting rendition of “God Bless the USA” and two awards were handed out. The “Outstanding Citizen Award” was presented to the Rev. Gerald Washington, who called his entire family up to receive the award with him.
“Thank you and God bless you all,” said Washington. “I would like to invite my wife and family down in this great moment because you share it with me. Let us be proud of this.”
Port Chester Volunteer Fire Chief Kevin McFadden was presented with the “Service Award.”
Rev. Washington delivered the Benediction and some entertainment was provided by Michael and Barbara Bassano, Hope Klein and Members of the Ward Summer Camp.
Just as the daylight had completely faded into tomorrow and left nothing but the night sky, a fireworks display any village, town or city would be proud of was underway.
“I prayed a lot that the weather would hold up,” said General Chairman Gerald Logan. “This has been a wonderful evening every year since I can remember and the weather held up again. The night was just fantastic.”