I had a blast walking up Main Street and Rte 22 in Eastchester with other elected officials in the annual Columbus day parade which honors forebears, like my great-grandfather Giusseppe DelGiudice and his family, who had the good sense and good fortune to emigrate from a small village in Caserta to the County of Westchester in America.

As is this parade’s tradition, it ended at the four-day carnival in the Lake Isle parking lot, where awards were given to Eastchester residents of Italian descent who have made significant contributions to the community.  I had the privilege of presenting a County proclamation to Kyle Moran Bellitto, the widow of  posthumous honoree Glenn Bellitto as Grand Marshall.  Glenn was an Eastchester Town Councilman, who was one of the early victims of COVID-19.  A Republican, Glenn was always kind and encouraging to me, in my early days of public service, when public speaking was still my biggest fear. We spoke with each other – all too briefly as it turned out – about the need for more affordable housing in the region, which was one of his great concerns.  Glenn and I both attended Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains where we learned the social Gospel and where the highest honorific to which one would aspire as an adult was “Catholic gentleman.”  He certainly attained that level and then some.