CELEBRATING INDEPENDENCE SEA CLIFF STYLE
POETS, PILOT, PRINCIPAL, PULITIZER PRIZE WINNER, PRESIDENTIAL IMPERSONATOR, PIPERS, PLUS OTHER IMPORTANT PEOPLE, PARTICIPATE IN PATRIOTIC PAGEANTRY
July 8, 2014 -- As was done at village greens, town squares and in public halls in July 1776, residents of Sea Cliff gathered on the village green on Friday morning, 238 years later, for a public reading of the Declaration of Independence, re-affirming their belief in the self-evident truths expressed in the document - "that all men are created equal and that they possess the "unalienable right" to, among others, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Sponsored by the Sea Cliff Civic Association, the celebration was truly a community affair, with Sea Cliff villagers, including poets, a pilot, a principal, and a Pulitzer Prize winner, as well as residents of all ages from elementary school through middle age, participating as cast members in the playlet "They Ventured Much," or, as 1776 Americans reading aloud Jefferson's immortal words pronouncing government's duty to protect the natural rights of its citizens and indicting the British crown for its oppressive policies towards the American Colonies. John Canning recited the preamble, while other community members individually read assigned sections from the document's list of grievances, and all the congregation exclaimed collectively the concluding paragraph.
Following the reading, the participants, with piper Paul Haining preceding, proceeded in a pageant of patriotism up Sea Cliff Avenue to the corner of Roslyn, where the recently re-furbished area formerly known as Mini Plaza was formally re-dedicated in honor of our nation's sixteenth President.
The spot now includes a brick patio, three planters and three benches, one bearing a memorial plaque honoring the life of John Hendrickson, whose family has owned the property for many decades. Above that bench, is inscribed within a window frame Lincoln's words, "I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him." The original plaque, which had been donated by the Sea Cliff Beautification Committee, and that includes the first part of the quote and the word "community" instead of "place," will be removed and presented to the Sea Cliff Museum.
Civic Association President Ann DiPietro welcomed the paraders to the site, and introduced Village Trustee Ed Lieberman, who had spearheaded the project.
Alluding to Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, connecting the 1776 struggle for individual rights and "government under the consent of the governed" to that of 1863, Mr. Lieberman addressed the crowd. "Six score and eleven years ago, our fathers brought forth to this community a new village, conceived in the Latin Motto, "Suum Cui Que - 'their own be allowed also' - and dedicated to the proposition that all people are to be tolerated and mutually respected," he said. "Abraham Lincoln was proud of our nation's birth of freedom and its ideal of equality for all. Our Village Fathers and Mothers held these principles as well - and today we join together at this spot to uphold them for ourselves and our village's future generations, and to honor his words of community spirit and civic pride."
After explaining some history regarding Mini Plaza, Mr. Lieberman offered thanks to the many people within Village Government and the community volunteers who contributed to the effort (see right), and then passed the microphone to Mayor Bruce Kennedy.
Pointing over the podium at the official Village Seal that bears the Latin motto cited earlier by Mr. Lieberman, the Mayor spoke of the appropriateness of naming an area within the village for Abraham Lincoln. Tolerance and equal treatment, he said, are core values of Sea Cliff and ones that Lincoln fought for and that are embodied in the Fourteenth Amendment that was adopted not long after Lincoln's death.
The Mayor then introduced Mr. Lincoln himself, as portrayed by Sea Cliff native Don Mullen, who, interweaving passages from a few of his most famous speeches and adapting them to the occasion, highlighted the themes that dominated the morning's two celebrations - individual liberty and civic responsibility.
Following Mr. Lincoln's address, the community was welcomed into the Metropolitan Bistro, the restaurant adjacent to Lincoln Plaza, where owners Bill and Anita Long treated residents to complementary burgers, hot dogs, and lemonade.
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY USA!
July 4, 2014 -- In celebration of the 238th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Sea Cliff Children's Library hosted a birthday bash for our nation on Thursday evening. The annual event, organized by Ann and Dan DiPietro, attracted dozens of children, their parents, and other residents, who, led by local musician/parents Joe Hughes and Roger Friedman, danced, sang, and clapped to patriotic tunes and American standards such as You're a Grand Ol' Flag, Yankee Doodle, This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land, and the Star Spangled Banner. The birthday party concluded in traditional American fashion with the presentation of candlelit cup cakes and an enthusiastic singing of "Happy Birthday."
EXCERPT FROM TRUSTEE ED LIEBERMAN’S SPEECH THANKING COMMUNITY
“I wish to personally thank our mayor, my friend Bruce Kennedy, for immediately embracing that vision by his full endorsement of Lincoln Plaza and its message.
“However, that goal could not have proceeded without the express permission of the property’s owner, Ann Kronick Hendrickson. On Behalf of our village, I thank you Ann . . . And we honor John Hendrickson’s life and Sea cliff Family Heritage with the placement of a memorial plaque on the bench nearest Sea cliff Avenue.
“Moreover, Lincoln Plaza was born only through the dedicated work of our mayor, two successive Boards of Trustees, our village attorney, Brian Stoler, Village Administrator John Mirando, Village clerk Marianne Lennon, Deputy Clerk Pat Guy, Grant Coordinator Erin McDonnell, Sara Reres of the Sea cliff Museum, and the Tireless efforts of the men our our Village’s Department of Public Works – namely, Gary Ketcham, John Gioradano, Tyler Olssen, and especially Billy Richmond.
“I wish to also acknowledge the volunteer efforts of Sea cliff residents and the services that they have donated to this endeavor: Susan Campagna – for planting the flowers and her efforts to maintain the new plantings; Brian Griffen – who built the new planter; Susan Giordano – who provided the landscape design; Billy and Richard Laderer, and their crew – who helped build this area and flower boxes; the Honorable Charles Praisi – who volunteered his legal services. And, of course, my friends, who always assist Sea cliff visions – Shane Dommin and Kathleen Diresta.
“I also wish to acknowledge the Lincoln Plaza financial gifts by the Sea Cliff Civic Association, President Ann DiPietro; The David and Sondra Mack Foundation and the Sea Cliff – Glen Head Lions Club, President Marc Neil, as well as the early and continued support of the Northwordnews, thank you Cathy and Tim.
“Without all of you this site would not be what it is today. Also, today’s celebration has been made special – Sea Cliff Style – with the participation of the Sea cliff Fire Department, the Culinary Fare of Billy and Anita Long, bag piper Paul Haining and the photographic expertise of Noah Barker. I Thank you all.”