Photo Courtesy of Roe Giustiniani
The Casillo cousins and military veteran Ray York proudly display the new Stars & Stripes at Charles Park.
By Michael V. Cusenza
Two enterprising cousins, disappointed with the size and condition of the American flag that stood sentry high above Frank M. Charles Memorial Park in Howard Beach, took it upon themselves last weekend to purchase a brand-new, larger Stars and Stripes and replace Old Glory at the federal green space.
The family members – both named Michael Casillo and both residents of Howard Beach – bought the new banner and mounting cables with their own money, and with the help of neighbors Dorothy Gale and Ray York raised the fresh flag on Sunday, just in time for the Fourth of July holiday.
“My cousin and I grew up playing in Charles Park. We frequently visit it, walk the track with friends and family,” said the younger Michael Casillo, 22. “The [war] memorial is great with a high flagpole, but the flag was way too small and we couldn’t see it from far. 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. And a new objective we got from this is that we want young people like ourselves to get more involved in the neighborhood.”