Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday Afternoon in Williamsburg: Rededication of Memorial Plaque at Father Giorgio Square

When it's warmer, we sometimes hang out and read on a bench a few blocks from Dumbo Books HQ over at Father Giorgio Triangle, at the intersection of Jackson and Lorimer Streets with Meeker Avenue by the BQE. On this blustery, bright Veterans Day, we were working this morning, teaching Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" to our fabulous students at Fordham University, so we didn't get back to Brooklyn in time for the 11 a.m. unveiling and rededication of the memorial to Father Edward J. Giorgio, a graphite plaque to replace the bronze one which some creeps stole in 2008.

We did come over soon after we arrived home and found the new plaque looking handsome, with a memorial wreath on an easel behind it. Father Giorgio was a Catholic priest assigned to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in 1935, when he was about 25 years old. While at the parish, he founded an award-winning marching band, the Mt. Carmel Cadet Corps and was much loved and respected.

During World War II, Father Giorgio was drafted as a Catholic chaplain in the army. He served from 1943 until March 1945, when he sustained a leg injury that required amputation. After returning home to Williamsburg, Father Giorgio died of blood poisoning at Ft. Hamilton Army Hospital on January 13, 1946, at the age of 36. He was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in East Flatbush.

The Father Giorgio Post 689 of the Catholic War Veterans put up the bronze plaque honoring him in 1951; two years later, the triangle was renamed in his honor. We really liked the old bronze plaque and had hopes they'd find it, but this new graphite plaque is beautiful, too (though it was so reflective our poor cell phone didn't get a decent pic). Nobody better mess with this one.

Below are photos taken by a professional for Holly Tsang's excellent report in the always-informative Greenpoint Star, which details today's ceremony. First are Father Giorgio's nieces Marie Giorgio-Francavilla and Jeanne Giorgio-Rodino reciting the inscription etched on the plaque. It says
He gave his life for his country
His greatest love was God
His greatest devotion was humanity
His greatest heritage a living inspiration to us all

Here's Assemblyman Joseph Lentol speaking at the rededication.

And here are the members of C.W.V. Post 689, whom we thank for their service on this Veterans Day.

We're sorry we missed the ceremony but you can read about it in the Greenpoint Star.

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