The third mural “Remember the Unforgettable,” featuring an American flag being unfurled by first responders, of the Residents Forward Mural Project was unveiled on June 2 to a crowd of local officials, veterans, members of the Port Washington Police District and Fire Department and residents. Sponsored by co-owners of DeLux Transportation Peter Blasucci and Andrea Majer, the “Remember the Unforgettable” mural was painted by local artists Michelle Shain, Lori Lee and Nick Gardella to pay tribute to Port Washington’s military, police and fire service people who lost their lives in the line of duty.
“When we started this project a lot of people told us not to put names on the mural,” explained executive director of Residents Forward Mindy Germain. “They said, ‘what if you leave somebody out, what if you don’t have the appropriate list?’ And what we learned through research is that it’s very hard to find the appropriate list, even the U.S. government is missing names. But then a book came to our hands. It’s called The Colors of Their Lives: The Red, The White, The Blue and it’s written by Carmella ‘Dolly’ Larsen. This book filled in the pieces that we were missing and we are forever thankful.”
At the unveiling, 10-year-old Ella Rowe performed “Brave” by Sara Barielles as the crowd clapped along and MTA Pipes and Drums performed “Amazing Grace.” Speeches were given by Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio along with Chief Bryan Vogeley of the Port Washington Fire Department and Assistant Chief Jeffrey Morris for the Port Washington Police District, both of whom highlighted the memory of names listed on the mural wall including Captain Robert H. Dayton, who died 30 years ago while battling a fire on Main Street, and Elbert Stuyvesant, a Port Washington Police officer who lost his life in 1924 succumbing to toxic gases in a cesspool while serving the Port Washington community.
“Many design options were presented with heroic smoke-filled rescues, uplifting quotes, but first responders standing on top of this building unfurling this flag was the clear chill-producing winner,” said lead designer Shain. “Add to that the names of 110 men and one woman—all Port Washington residents who perished while serving our country, preserving our freedoms and protecting our very own Main Street. We hope we have accomplished our mission and may ‘Remembering the Unforgettable’ give you chills for all the days to come.”