How quickly time does fly. It seems like only yesterday that we celebrated the 2013 Ellis Island Medals of Honor in New York City, welcoming a new group of Americans to our family of Medalists. This year, our event was a remarkable success, especially given the challenges we faced. I’m very proud of NECO’s Executive Director Rosemarie Taglione and her staff who worked so hard to make sure that the entire weekend was perfect, in spite of inclement weather and logistical problems.
Speaking of our Executive Director, I would mention that NECO has amassed a long and impressive list of achievements in its 27 years and no one was more personally involved in these achievements than Rosemarie. And so it is with a twinge of sadness, but with an overwhelming sense of appreciation, that I must announce that our Executive Director, Rosemarie Taglione, has made the decision to retire. Rosemarie’s dedication to NECO, and especially to the children NECO has helped, is well known. In her role as Executive Director, she has literally traveled the world and has spread our message in such diverse places as in the rural provinces of China, as well as throughout Europe and North America. No matter the location, Rosemarie’s humor and warmth spoke volumes and insured that NECO was welcomed with open arms wherever she traveled. She will be missed but I’m sure she will continue to be available to her beloved NECO whenever we need her.
On a much happier note, I’m proud that NECO recently traveled to Northern Ireland at the end of September to honor three very important men: First Minister Peter Robinson, deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and the previous First Minster, The Reverend and Right Honorable Dr. Ian Paisley, The Lord Bannside. These men were instrumental in sitting down and creating the historic Good Friday Agreement, as well as the St. Andrews Agreement, which laid the foundation for peace after years of conflict. Their ability to put past political grievances aside in the name of peace for the future generations of Irish children is inspiring. For their efforts, we honored them with the International Ellis Island Medal of Honor which they received at the Queen’s residence in Northern Ireland, Hillsborough Castle. We will have much more information about this historic event on our website and in the next edition of NECO News.
Once again, let me congratulate the 2013 Ellis Island Medalists! Welcome to our family.