One of our most precious freedoms we have in America is that of speech. I can sit down at my computer and type pretty much whatever I want. It is a freedom that many who live on this earth in other countries do not have. We enjoy the freedom of speech and all of our freedoms because brave men and women in our armed forces fought to defend our country. We remember those who paid the ultimate price for their country on Monday, Memorial Day. Each year, I try very hard to remember that Memorial Day is much more than a federal holiday, much more than a 3-day weekend, much more than a weekend of big sales on cars and other stuff. I honor those who gave their lives so I can live in freedom.
On the topic of Memorial Day, there are two excellent letters to the editor in Thursday's Trumbull Times from Town Clerk Suzanne Burr Monaco, and Tax Collector Mary Moran. Ms. Burr Monaco's father, George Burr, is a veteran who participated in the Normandy invasion, and was injured in battle shortly thereafter. If you have some free time on Monday afternoon, the Trumbull Memorial Day Parade is one of the best events all year, and I would never miss it.
So as I was thinking about what to write next, I went into the family room to watch the bottom of the ninth inning in the Red Sox-Rays game. And Jason Saltalamacchia just hit a 2-run walk-off homer and the Sox won 3-2. I love the Red Sox. This love was genetically transmitted to me by my dad, and it has been a lifelong love affair. There has been a lot of heartache, but no matter how bad it got, my love for the Red Sox never wavered. In my high school yearbook, while other seniors were busy writing prolific quotes for the ages next to his or her picture, I wrote "Just once before I die, I hope to see the Red Sox win the World Series." And I did, twice. Many fans were not so lucky. So the rest is gravy, but to this day, it still thrills me to see a dramatic victory like that in the bottom of the ninth. God bless my wife, Marcy. She puts up with me from Spring Training until October. Go Sox!
Moving to politics, I really consider myself fortunate to actively participate in our democracy. I attended four conventions, the Democratic State Convention, the Fourth District Democratic Congressional Convention, the 22nd District Democratic State Senate Convention, and the 134th District Democratic State Representative Convention. I was able to meet Governor Dannel Malloy, Congressman Chris Murphy, Senator Richard Blumenthal, and several other elected leaders at the State Convention. But I think my favorite elected leader was Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, who was exceedingly friendly, and always with a smile on his face. I gave him a thumbs up after he announced the votes of the Bridgeport delegation, and he was kind enough to come over again to shake my hand. I like Mayor Finch and he has a tough job. I was also proud to see Trumbull resident Nancy DiNardo chairing the state convention. I was surprised that I was asked by at least three different people what the difference was between Republican and Democratic conventions. I said both parties do a good job, but there are more jackets and ties at Republican conventions. They are very sharp dressers. There are more women, more African-Americans, more Latinos, more diversity, and more young people at Democratic conventions. I don't mean that as a knock against Republicans, although I'm sure some will perceive it that way. But that is my honest observation.
I want to recognize Superintendent of Schools Ralph Iassogna, Frenchtown Principal Jackie Norcel, and all of the staff of our school system who did an excellent job this past week with the incident that caused the school to be on lockdown for more than an hour. Also, thank you to Chief Tom Kieley and the Trumbull Police Department. The FBI was engaged in activity with a citizen and shots were fired. The suspect was not immediately apprehended, and a school bus full of children witnessed some of that incident. An outstanding job was also done by the bus driver, who kept the children calm and delivered them safely to school. A fabulous job by First Selectman Tim Herbst, who came to Frenchtown to speak to the students and reassure them. This incident was handled well, and the best was made of a difficult situation. We have a tremendous public school system and we entrust 7,000 children each day to our excellent teachers and staff of the public schools. We are fortunate, indeed, to have such a great public school system.
If you've made it this far, thanks for reading. I hope you have a great week.