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As our area continues to cope with the very severe aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, it has been emotionally moving for me to see that photo of volunteer firefighters raising our flag in battered Breezy Point. It brought tears to my eyes.

We have all been affected by the rage of this brutal monster from the tropics, but as Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Charles Schumer, NJ Governor Chris Christie, President Barack Obama and many others have stated, “We will recover and rebuild even stronger and better than before.”

As a resident of Fresh Meadows all of my life, and having experienced many storms of various magnitudes, I can honestly say that I have never seen such widespread destruction of the trees. They lined our streets for years and years, and suddenly, in one day, thousands of them were wiped out.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those people who lost their lives in the storm, as well as their families. Also, let us be forever grateful to all of our firefighters, police officers, EMTs and medical personnel, as well as ordinary people who have all pitched in to rescue and help those who were trapped by flooding and whose homes were destroyed or damaged.

We must also give a word of grateful thanks to all of the news media, all of the reporters and their crews who brought us the images of the devastation as it was unfolding and the television and radio meteorologists who did a superb job of keeping us informed of the storm’s every move.

I am truly proud to be a New Yorker and an American. God Bless our city, country  and its citizens.

John Amato

Fresh Meadows

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