Two Local Heroes Remembered
By a Local Boy Scout
By John Farrell
We pass these locations most days. Going to work, school, or visiting our friends and neighbors, in Mill Basin and Bergen Beach Brooklyn. But few know that two local street triangles in our neighborhood are named for Heroes. One for a local young man, who served his country during the Vietnam War and succumbed to his combat wounds years later. The other for a Catholic priest, who against many odds and trials established St. Bernards Parish. In what was once a quite sparsely populated area in the early 60’s.
While both led different lives, they had one thing in common. Selfishness service to their fellow man. Weather it was shoveling snow off a tent that served as St. Bernard’s first Church and leading the effort to build a school first, for the parish children. Or patrolling the jungles of Vietnam and being wounded on multiple occasions. Each served in their own way.
Over the years, NYC Parks has placed name signs and landscaped both triangles. A historical sign was placed at the Pfc. Cosmo Barone Triangle outlining his service to the nation. (Ave. U & east 72nd St.) The Father Patrick Kenny triangle never received one. (Veterans Ave. & east 69th St) Recently the Barone Triangle sign succumbed to age and weather. In steps two groups, Troop 76 Boy Scouts of America. Sponsored by, St. Bernard R.C. Church and St. Bernard Council Knights of Columbus.
Another“hero”steps in carrying out the tradition of service. Eagle Scout candidate Alessandro Mattarazo, of Troop 76, a 2013 graduate of St. Bernard School, and a senior at Xavier High School in NYC. Working with local NYC Park officials and supported by the local KoC Council and Hetman Construction, along with his Scout Troop. Alessandro organized fellow scouts and adult leaders and installed concrete piers and constructed, new sign frames. Keeping with the Scout philosophy of sustainability, both frames were made with Epi wood which will last longer than pressure treated wood. This work took place over a number of afternoons & evenings and was supported by over 15 scouts and adults.
Now two local hero’s stories are displayed for the enjoyment of the community. We can now remember their service. All because of a desire to serve others by a local young man and the groups that supported him.