Family, friends and community members packed Our Lady of Grace church last week to say a tearful goodbye to Salvatore Polizzi, 13, who was tragically killed in an accident.
Before a church full of mourners, Father Anthony Rucando reminded the procession that it is not always how long one lives, but rather, how well.
Salvatore died in a motorbike accident over Memorial Day weekend in Pennsylvania while vacationing with his father, it was reported.
The teen was an eighth grader at M.S. 207 Rockwood Park. On Friday, June 1, after services ended, students waited outside of the school in silence as the procession passed. Along the fence were blue and yellow ribbons with personal messages to Salvatore written on them. A mural on the school’s third floor has also been painted to remember him, said Nina DeBlasio, Parent-Teacher Coordinator.
DeBlasio, also a family friend, said Salvatore was a fun-loving student who touched the lives of everyone around him.
“Nobody ever had a bad thing to say about him — ever,” she said. “I think he touched a great deal of lives forever.”
DeBlasio said students were trying to carry on, but that there was a noticeably saddened mood. The student body has been very supportive of his mother, Lysa King, she said.
“We’re here for his mom and here to support his mom anyway we can as a school and a community,” DeBlasio said.
Eighth grade celebrations — which Salvatore would have been a part of — will carry on, she said, but his memory will be incorporated now. His name will still be read in its place at graduation and an empty seat will be left open for him, DeBlasio said. Following the ceremony, students will release blue and gold balloons — along with a single white one in honor of their classmate.