Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Despite The Cold, The Veterans Day 2015 Ceremony In Carroll Park Was Lovely

Joan d'Amico of Court Street Merchants Association, who helped organized the event
Former Assemblywoman Joan Millman
Councilmember Brad Lander
State Senator Daniel Squadron
Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon
New York State Senator Velmanette Montgomery
This year's honoree, Salvatore "Buddy" Scotto
Vince Mazzone, who organizes the Veterans Day ceremony every year
Former Assemblywoman Joan Millman with current Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon
Dr. Mike Polanski of Court Street Merchant Association
It may have been wet and cold on this Wednesday, November 11th, but the annual Veterans Day Ceremony in Carroll Park this morning was absolutely lovely. Many of our neighborhood veterans were joined by elected officials and younger community members to lay a wreath in front of the World War I memorial in the park to honor all those who gave their lives in service of their country.
This year's special honoree was life long Carroll Gardens resident and Korean War veteran Salvatore "Buddy" Scotto.
He was introduced by former Assemblywoman Joan Millman, who spoke about Buddy's life and service to country and community.
Below is a bit about Buddy's life:
Salvatore (Buddy) Scotto was born on October 1, 1928 to Patsy and Rose Scotto who had immigrated to the United States from Italy in 1909 and who, at the time of Salvatore’s birth, were living at 102 Second Place. The Scotto family was in the wine importing business up until 1920 when prohibition went into effect and lead to Patsy and his brothers becoming owners of four movie theaters – The Court, The Paris Court, The Gloria, and The Lido; and eventually Patsy and Rose establishing Scotto Funeral Home.

Since Salvatore was a very popular name for Italian boys – he was one of five Salvatores in the family – his mother took a cue from “My Buddy” sung by Al Jolson and almost immediately began calling him Buddy. While still a student at St. Francis College, Buddy enlisted in the National Guard and was assigned to the 955 Field Artillery Battalion. In January 1950 – with the threat of war in Asia – Platoon Sergeant Scotto’s unit was activated and sent overseas. Within a few months of his arrival in Korea, and based upon his leadership skills, performance and intelligence, Buddy was offered (which he accepted) an opportunity to attend Officers Candidate School. Upon completing his training, Lt. Scotto was transferred to Reykjavik, Iceland at a time when the United States was establishing a military base to aid in defensive and offensive operations in the event of war with Russia and at the same time to monitor Soviet movements in the North Atlantic.

Upon completion of his one year tour of duty in Iceland, Buddy returned to the United States, rejoined the 955 Field Artillery Battalion, and resumed his role in the family business alongside his sister Theresa (Terry). Combining his active status in the United States Army and his reserve status in the National Guard, Salvatore “Buddy” Scotto spent thirteen years in the service of our country…..and many more years after that in the service of our community.

Over the years Scotto Funeral Home became more than just a place where families would seek comfort during moments of sorrow. Thanks to Buddy and his deep commitment to Carroll Gardens, Scotto Funeral Home also became a place where people gathered to share ideas in hope of making our community a better place to live, work and shop. It’s where the seeds took root for the changing of the name of our community from Red Hook to Carroll Gardens. It’s where the Carroll Gardens Association and the Independent Neighborhood Democrats were founded; and where many other community groups and organizations began.

At 87 Buddy has not shown any sign of losing sight of two of his long standing goals – to plant more trees and to clean up the Gowanus Canal.

We honor Salvatore “Buddy” Scotto today both for his service to our country and for his service to our community.


Laura Eng said...

Buddy Scotto is truly a pillar of our community and is well deserving to be honored on this Veterans Day. I found it interesting to learn how he got his nickname. My cousin, Lucille, tells a story of how when my great-grandmother passed away back in 1960, Buddy came over to the house to help make the arrangements. The whole family was distraught, fainting and crying, which was pretty common for our family. Lucille, who was a young teenager, said that Buddy was so kind to her amidst all the emotional upheaval. Several years later, after she married, she told her husband that if they ever had a son, he would of course be named for her father-in-law (according to Italian tradition) but she would call him "Buddy," in honor of the very kind and compassionate Buddy Scotto. And so Buddy Scotto has a namesake called Basil "Buddy" Iuliano!

Margaret said...

Thank you for the background on Buddy Scotto, Katia. A very touching story, and tribute. And your pictures make me feel like I was there today.