PHOTOS: Independence Day Event at Greenwich Town Hall Focuses on History of Holiday

Charlotte DiPreta at the Independence Day ceremony at Greenwich Town Hall. July 4, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Field Point Road was shut down for the Independence Day ceremony at Greenwich Town Hall. Captain Kraig Gray salutes. July 4 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Dadakis, Toner, Tesei

Ed Dadakis, one of the organizers of the Independence Day event, First Selectman Peter Tesei and Selectman John Toner. July 4, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

BET member Karen Karen Fassuliotis and GHS Rugby Coach Joe Kelly. July 4, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

The tradition of the Greenwich Independence Day ceremony was started 15 years ago by Bea Crumbine.

Today the Independence Day Association of Greenwich continues with an extensive committee.

“There really is more to the 4th of July than barbecues and fireworks,” said Janet Giusti who co-chaired the event with Maggie Wein. “Today we celebrate our American independence, to honor our patriots, our ancestors and those who sacrificed their safety, their fortunes and their very lives to secure our freedom.”

Attending the ceremony were local officials including First Selectman Peter Tesei, Selectmen John Toner and Sandy Litvack, CT State Reps Fred Camillo, Livvy Floren and Steve Meskers, and CT Senator Alex Bergstein.

Bea Crumbine recalled how 15 years ago Serge Gabriel told her he thought it was odd that Greenwich did not have a ceremony for 4th of July to understand the historic basis of the date, especially given Greenwich is a historic Colonial town.

“I’d like to remind myself What Abraham Lincoln wrote about this day and the document we are celebrating,” Mrs. Crumbine said.

“On the 4th day of July 1776, the people of a few feeble and oppressed colonies of Great Britain, inhabiting a portion of the Atlantic coast of North America, publicly declared their national independence and made their appeal to the justice of their cause and to the god of battles for the maintenance of that declaration. That people were few in number and without resources, save only their wise heads and stout hearts.”

First Selectman Peter Tesei congratulated Lucy Capozza who recently became a US citizen after residing in Greenwich for over 30 years.

“She is one of the hardest working people I know. God bless America,” Tesei said.

Mr. Tesei also acknowledged Joe Havranek whose birthday is July 4.

Of Mr. Havranek, who worked for the Greenwich Police Dept for 43 years Tesei said, “It’s a big day for you. You’re a firecracker, we all know.”

 

Greenwich Scouts distributed programs at the Fourth of July Celebration at Greenwich Town Hall. July 4, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

“We are gathered today to mark the 243rd anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence,” Tesei continued. “It was on July 4 in 1776 that the Continental Congress, by a majority of representatives of the 13 Colonies, including Roger Sherman of Connecticut, voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence.”

“It was a most auspicious action establishing our democracy, separating the colonies from the crown of England.”

“What does Independence Day, the 4th of July mean to us?” Tesei asked. “For some it means an extra day off work. For some it is a reason to have a picnic or a barbecue, or perhaps head to the beach. For others it means there is a parade or a chance to light off some fireworks. For all of you gathered here today, the 4th of July is the opportunity to celebrate our illustrious history – both nationally and locally. The 4th of July is an opportunity to celebrate what our country stands for: freedom and liberty.”

Tesei quoted 40th US President Ronald Reagan, saying, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the blood stream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.”

“With the representation of so many generations gathered here today, we are assured that our future is bright. Our Democracy is alive. It is well. It is thriving. May God Bless America and each of you here today,” Tesei said.

Anna Greco, representing the Greenwich Historical Society, spoke about the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote and the Historical Society’s upcoming exhibition, The Right to Vote:  The Women’s Suffrage Movement and Its Legacy.

The exhibition will explore the legacy the suffragettes’ cause as a civic and social movement.

The exhibition runs from  Feb 5, 2020 until Sept 6, 2020 in the newly reimagined campus on Strickland Rd in Cos Cob.

Scouting Executive Kevin O’Shea with scouts at the Independence Day celebration at Greenwich Town Hall. July 4, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Jill, Caroline and James Tesei with their dog Thunder at the Independence Day celebration at Town Hall. July 4, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Members of the Greenwich Board of Selectmen First Selectman Peter Tesei, Selectman John Toner and Selectman Sandy Litvack. July 4, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Frank and Jean DiVincenzo with grandsons at the Independence Day Ceremony at Greenwich Town Hall. July 4, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

 Catherine Baumgarten and Jamie Yee

Good Citizen recipients Catherine Baumgarten and Jamie Yee. July 4, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

BOE member Jennifer Dayton and husband Euchung Ung. July 4, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Greenwich Police Dept honor guard. July 4, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Janeen Bjork

Janeen Bjork at the Independence Day celebration at Greenwich Town Hall. July 4, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

State Rep Steve Meskers, State Senator Alex Bergstein and Janet Giusti. July 4, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Stefanie Kies, Bea Crumbine and Janet Giusti, July 4, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Exhibit inside Greenwich Town Hall commemorating the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment guaranteeing American women the right to vote. Photo: Leslie Yager

Members of the Greenwich Board of Selectmen First Selectman Peter Tesei, Selectman John Toner and Selectman Sandy Litvack. July 4, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Members of the Greenwich Board of Selectmen First Selectman Peter Tesei, Selectman John Toner and Selectman Sandy Litvack. July 4, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Exhibit inside Greenwich Town Hall commemorating the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment guaranteeing American women the right to vote. Photo: Leslie Yager

Exhibit inside Greenwich Town Hall commemorating the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment guaranteeing American women the right to vote. Photo: Leslie Yager

Evelyn and Olivia Raney. July 4, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Evelyn and Olivia Raney. July 4, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Independence Day

After the ceremony outside Greenwich Town Hall, everyone was invited into the lobby to enjoy a piece of stars and stripes cake. July 4, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Bill, Katherine Riona, and Arabella McKersie at the Independence Day ceremony at Greenwich Town Hall. July 4, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Democratic Selectman Sandy Litvack and Democratic candidate for First Selectman Jill Oberlander. July 4, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

Perkins the dog with his special trolley and fan to stay cool with his owners Gideon Fountain and Susie Wamsley. July 4, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager

James Tesei and his dog Thunder say hello to Perkins. July 4, 2019 Photo: Leslie Yager