Addio Mario

New York Says Goodbye to Cherished Governor

Mario Cuomo at Williamsburg Street fair giglioThe first week of the New Year cast a sober spell over many in New York when the news came that three term Governor Mario Cuomo had passed away. More somber knowledge still is that news fell not long after our present governor was sworn into his second term and adding to that these two men happened to be father and son.

Hundreds of New Yorkers came out on Monday, January 5th, and stood on the long line to pay their respects to the past Governor at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home on Madison Avenue.  North Brooklyn was represented at the wake by Assemblyman Joe Lentol, among others. On the day Mr. Lentol observered , “Governor Mario Cuomo’s wake had lines around the block which was very unique for someone who has been out of office for so long. The number of mourners from the political world to the everyday world showed just how much everyone thought of our former governor.”

Many in Williamsburg’s Italian American community remarked that Mr. Cuomo was a role model for them and a paragon of what their culture can achieve.  As seen in the photo the former governor enjoyed participating in this neighborhood’s Italian American festival, the Giglio Feast. This festival was started by “Nolani” immigrants from Italy nearly a century before the picture was taken.

Governor Mario Cuomo also had other ties to Williamsburg.  Prominent Hasidic leaders in Williamsburg supported his gubernatorial run in 1982.  “When he started out it was very hard. He was running against Ed Koch. Very few people supported him. [They] were very good to my father early on,” Andrew Cuomo said in 2010. In response, Lieb Glantz, a longtime political activist in the community, said “We are here to let you now we are family. And this is a community that has fought very hard for your father.”  During Mario Cuomo’s tenure as governor he supported a special school district in the enclave of Kiryas Joel for learning disabled children.

The former New York governor was laid to rest at St. Ignatius Loyola Church on the Upper East Side Tuesday, January 6th. His coffin was draped in the New York State flag and bagpipers played. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, former mayors Michael Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani, President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and of course his son, Governor Andrew Cuomo were among the dignitaries and mourners. They gave due honor to a man who honored life and so many by sticking to his principles. The governor and son in his heartfelt eulogy mentioned, “The writing of his addresses began with the principle, the idea, the passion . . . and then came the words.” and also “Mario Cuomo was the keynote speaker for our better angels.” One would think he is now the key note speaker for even better angels.

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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