Mayor Brian P. Stack and the Union City Board of Commissioners Present Grand Opening of Firefighters’ Memorial Park!

It has been an eventful week in Union City, culminating with the grand opening of Firefighters’ Memorial Park this morning. Union City Mayor and State Senator for NJ District 33 Brian P. Stack and the Board of Commissioners of Union City officially opened Firefighter’s Memorial Park today in an event attended by hundreds of residents and honoring the brave men and women of Hudson County Regional Fire Department who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. The park is fully equipped with an Olympic-sized pool, a smaller children’s fountain and a water playground, and boasts a breathtaking view of New York City as a backdrop, but the centerpiece of the park is a monument honoring those firefighters that have sacrified their lives for the residents of Hudson County:

The event was well-attended by both residents and prominent local figures. Newly-christened Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Guttenberg Mayor Gerald Drasheff were both in attendance, and NJ Senate Majority Leader Stephen Sweeney drove two hours from his home to say a few words about his work with Senator Stack.

Mr. Troyer is an exceptional man and a great teacher. Mr. Troyer taught a whole generation of Cuban-Americans at the legendary Emerson High School in Union City. During the 70’s when we arrived from a Communist state, with no knowledge whatsoever of American language or culture, Mr. Troyer- like most of those American teachers- treated us with respect and gave us a sense of belonging. And a sense of belonging is what every exile looks for because when you are a political exile you are catapulted into the forgotten side of history, into the abyss of identity. Teachers like Mr. Troyer (Mr. Troya’), The Great Richard Ardito, Agnes Collinari, and so many others were a light in the middle of the desert, in the middle of the confusion, anger, and sense of loss with which the Cuban Revolution marked us forever. This is to me a significant photo: Mr. Troyer poses with my daughter, 21 year old Frances Martel, a first generation Cuban-American who has just graduated with honors from Harvard University. Most of us that graduated in those late 70’s did all right, Mr. Troyer, thanks to you and your fellow teachers, the ones that treated us like you did. Those who took the time to listen and to advise. You reinforced what our parents taught us and here is my offspring to whom I passed on not only the teachings of my parents but that of teachers like you. God Bless Mr. Troyer.


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