Recently, in an Editorial titled “Off the Sidelines,” we implored our loyal readers to get involved in their community.
“The time has come for those who have been commenting and complaining from the sideline to do something about that which has confounded, frustrated, and angered them for so long,” we wrote in May. “You don’t have to run for office, you don’t have to raise funds for someone else, you don’t have to become some sort of insider. What you must do is get involved in any way you can.”
It seems that cousins – both named Michael Casillo and both Howard Beach natives – got the message loud and clear, and have heeded the call to community service.
Disappointed with the size and condition of the American flag at Frank M. Charles Memorial Park in Howard Beach, the family members took it upon themselves on Sunday to purchase a brand-new, larger Stars and Stripes and replace Old Glory at their beloved federal green space.
“We love this country and this neighborhood so the money and our time were minimal compared to the honor and pride we got from flying the flag,” said the younger Michael Casillo, 22. “And a new objective we got from this is that we want young people like ourselves to get more involved in the neighborhood.”
Thank you, Michael and Michael. Thank you for such a selfless act. Thank you for doing a service to your community and neighbors. Thank you for caring.
Our extended Fourth of July holiday weekend got off to a great start with the Casillo family raising a beautiful, brand-new flag on Sunday at Charles Park.
It came to a sobering close shortly after midnight on Wednesday when a veteran City police officer was shot in the Bronx. Miosotis Familia’s brothers and sisters in Blue and the staff at St. Barnabas Hospital tried valiantly to save her life, but she ultimately succumbed to the gunshot wound to her head several hours later.
So in a matter of a couple of days in NYC we went from a fresh flag flying high above a beloved World’s Borough park to Stars and Stripes at all municipal buildings in the five boroughs being lowered to half staff as the big city – the same one that Miosotis Familia swore an oath to protect and gave her life doing just that – mourns.
While we would never celebrate a death, maybe in this time of grief we can take solace in knowing that the assailant who robbed Miosotis Familia’s three children of their brave mother won’t be able to harm anyone ever again.
And maybe the ASPCA should seriously consider honoring the officers who put that animal out of its misery.
Rest in Peace, Officer Familia. Thank you for your service. Thank you for your sacrifice.


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