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Displaying items by tag: Aubrey M Talbot

Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:31

Gene Corsale – American

Remembering Saratoga’s Veterans Advocate on Memorial Day

 

SARATOGA SPRINGS— It was always an honor to listen to Eugene Corsale as he spoke before city council meetings, in small groups and, on too few occasions, one-on-one. The forthright way he conducted himself: Ramrod-straight and yet selfless, an advocate for veteran’s most times yes, but for what is the right thing always, made an impression on me, and everyone in his audience, of any size, every time. 

 

As this is our first Memorial Day without Gene, I can think of no finer tribute to all veterans than to step aside and let his family, friends and our city leaders past and present, speak in tribute to him as representative of the tribute that we all wish to pay to everyone who serves, and served our country with honor and dignity.

 

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“Gene ‘Pop’ Corsale was the best Grandfather anyone could ask for; he is truly a man to look up to. Pop was a real American.  Pop was that kind of person that you could tell that he truly cared about his country, but most of all his Grandchildren, whether it be seeing my sister dance at Ballet performances, teaching me how to fish, or allowing me to eat as much ice cream as I can handle, he was always there for us.  Pop also made me understand what it meant to be an American. He always told me that if I were to look to the reason as to why this great nation has achieved so much, it was because we unleashed the freedom of the individual to the greatest extent that has ever been done before. That’s what freedom’s all about. Pop had a special place in his hear for Memorial Day, this day truly symbolizes what it means to be free, thanks to our military.”   

- Colin W. Brady, Grandson

 

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“The Navy’s unofficial motto is “Not Self—But Country”.  And from the Navy Core Values comes   “Honor, Courage, and Commitment.”  These two simple axioms are Eugene J. Corsale.

  

“Honor was not a word to Gene; it was what he did and who he was. 

 

“John F. Kennedy stated, “Ask not, what your country can do for you.  Ask what you can do for your country.”  There are very few individuals or politicians who can say they lived by these lines. But Gene did. 

 

“Gene, having served in the Korean War, saw first-hand what the evil effects of communism and progressive ideology had on the common man and the country that was forced to suffer under that tyranny.  Not self-but humanity.

Gene truly believed it was the supreme sacrifice of military men and women over the last 240 years that has made American the Greatest Country in the world.  Gene worked tirelessly to honor the courage and commitment of all the service men and women who have served and especially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice during combat.  

 

“Not self-but Country. 

 

“Not self but Wife, not self but Family, not self but Grandchildren, not self but Community, not self but Country. Gene left a great indelible mark on all those came in contact with him.”  

 

- Joseph K. Brady 

 

Eugene “Gene” Corsale was a sweetheart of a man. He took his Italian heritage very seriously as well as being a native of this city.

I always looked forward to Gene’s bi-weekly visits to Saratoga TODAY – his dedication to the local Deceased American Veteran’s notification in the paper always impressed me. He had the veteran’s life story down pat; all I had to do was type up the details and scan the picture he provided!

 

I only knew Gene for the duration of my time at Saratoga TODAY, just about five years. But being a native myself, I learned so much about my wonderful city and its residents, young and old, information that Gene chose to share with me. The fact that he remembered my parents was a very special connection that we shared.

 

He will be remembered by many.

- Anne Kearney Proulx

 

“Gene and I have been friends and have worked on veteran’s issues and events for over 8 years. Sometimes we'd meet at the Principessa Elena or at the County to talk over issues of Saratoga Springs or regarding the Veterans Committee.  

 

“I thought of Gene as the wisdom behind whatever we were doing but he always cheered me on saying what a great job I was doing for our Community. Coming from him that meant a lot.

 

“Last year before the Memorial Day parade I called Gene as I did from time to time. This time it was to invite him to be the grand marshal for our traditional annual City Memorial Day parade one year ago. He said on our phone call that he was honored and would come and watch if he had the energy. I felt an instinct that it most important to honor him in that 2013 parade, fearing that it would be his last year with us on this earth. 

 

“I am so glad we had a big banner made in his honor last year to lead the parade and that his son-in-law Joe Brady and his grandson Colin Brady carried it with pride for all of Saratoga to enjoy.

 

“I miss him as a community leader, a supporter and as a veteran.  God Bless Gene, and all our Saratoga veterans, who have served this country with honor and dignity.

 

-Joanne Dittes Yepsen

 Mayor, Saratoga Springs

 

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“Saratoga has always been a special place, with special people. Indeed, Gene Corsale was no exception and, in fact, was more the rule. His passion and compassion was legion in a City that is unparalleled for history, our present and the potential for our future.  I had the pleasure of both knowing Gene and working with him on so many causes to advance our City, while preserving our past and giving due recognition to those who made us what we are today.

 

“The Corsale and Johnson family friendship goes back over 50 years, when my family moved to Saratoga and settled in the Dublin neighborhood.  Back then, Dublin was actually a misnomer, with the original Irish having been replaced with Italians.  Despite not one ounce of Italian in the Johnsons, we were wholly embraced into that wonderful community, a fact not ever lost by Gene in my later working with him as Mayor.  Gene’s sister-in-law, Nancy, and my Mom were best friends up until my Mom’s recent death.  The stories are too many to recite in this tribute, but are well known to so many Saratogians.

 

“Gene will always be known as a vigorous American patriot, a tireless advocate for our veterans, and as a true Saratogian.  Whenever Gene came to me as Mayor, with an idea for the City, there was no doubt I was being asked to come along on a mission that would happen nonetheless.  His was always a vision, whether it was Veterans Day, Memorial Day, 9/11, Veterans Memorial Park, the Korean Vets Color Guard, or preservation of the Gideon Putnam Cemetery.

 

“No doubt, our City is less in his absence. We should all be thankful to Gene, and his family, for all they did and accomplished for Saratoga.”   

 

- Scott Johnson

Former Mayor, Saratoga Springs

 

“Gene was, among many other things, a driving force behind the Saratoga Springs to North Creek “scenic rail” project.  Early on it seemed like a pipe dream, a great idea in principle but probably too complex to make happen. His dogged persistence in promoting it and bringing the various stakeholders together was a key factor in bringing it to fruition. He was earnest, friendly and truly non-partisan.  

“Lots of community activism can be negative, rallying people AGAINST something. Gene was typically an advocate FOR things, and figured out a way to get them done. He was a true community servant, informed, involved, and above all effective.  And he didn’t worry about who got the credit—that didn’t matter as long the community could be made stronger and better.”

 

- Kenneth Klotz

 

Former Mayor, Saratoga Springs

 

Published in News
Friday, 11 April 2014 11:06

'Ships Passing in the Dark'

 

Naval Base Pursues More Community Support

  

SARATOGA SPRINGS—The Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit (NPTU) in Ballston Spa is the third stop on a sailors’ journey to becoming a part of the Navy fleet. It's about a six to eight month visit for this most difficult stage of training for enlisted sailors.

 

This leaves a short window for Saratoga Springs resident to become acquainted with the next class that eventually becomes nuclear operators; however, Commanding Officer of Naval Support Activity (NSA) Saratoga Springs Vince Garcia said that it's important they do.

  

“We have a very demanding program, and we ask a lot of them. Going out with the community is kind of letting them know that there are people there that are counting on them,” CDR Garcia said. “Building that relationship that will help them understand the big picture in the Navy, the big picture in our country, what they're doing that they may not recognize.”

  

Rear Admiral Dixon R. Smith made his first visit to Saratoga Springs on Tuesday at a Meet and Greet hosted by The Saratoga County Chamber during which he recognized the win-win attitudes of both on the part of the sailors and the community to build a stronger relationship.

 

 On any given day about 1,800 to 1,900 active duty sailors are living in upstate New York, about 1,100 of that community students. Annually the NPTU graduates 10 percent of the sailors that go on to replenish the Naval fleet, and 50 percent of all the Navy's nuclear engineers are trained at the site.

 

 The relationship between the community and its sailors has been a work in progress in the past decade, and most notably in the past year. CDR Garcia has been working toward ensuring that, even though a sailor’s time in Saratoga Springs is usually short – only lasting the duration of their training, that the relationship goes beyond fulfilling daily necessities to one that is capable of motivating sailors, and the community embracing the transitory nature of the sailors’ training for lasting friendships.

  

“Maybe they're not used to having friends just for a short period of time and they're gone,” he said. “That's our culture, the Navy culture. We meet people in and out. We're ships passing in the dark, but you know what, we're shipmates to the end. And maybe, in a lot of ways, we're asking to become shipmates with Saratoga.”

 

Not only are the sailors training to be nuclear operators residents, but their families are too. This contributes to the economic impact the base has in the area - approximately $500 million annually, according toa study that the US Navy commissioned in 2010. By comparison, Skidmore generates about $400 million annually followed by the Saratoga Racecourse at $200 million, according to the college’s economic report a year ago and an economic report conducted by Saratoga County IDA, respectfully. 

 

 “My own base is small compared to other bases, it just wasn't built up much over the years, I have to leverage facilities out in town. The chamber has been instrumental in that,” CDR Garcia said.

  

A year later CDR Garcia approached The Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce with a presentation about the Naval base and its impact on the community as well as the needs of its sailors that could be better served with the help of the community.

 

“I commented after he finishes: 'that was probably the best, most informative breakfast I have ever attended'," said Todd Shimkus, president of The Saratoga County Chamber. I'm fairly certain that everyone there has been in touch to contact him and see what they could do to help....So, his leadership and his willingness to engage the community really inspired the change we are now seeing in the business community to support the Navy.There was this chart in one part (of the presentation), where there would normally be services at the base that the base would normally provide, but here the community should provide.”

 

 “Most Navy bases have a fitness center. We don’t, so we go to the YMCA. Most Navy bases have a canteen. Not here, so the sailors go to local stores for everything. Housing, furniture, everything is something they have to go offsite for,” Shimkus said.

 

 EVENTS

 

Saratoga Springs Port Call on June 14. Parade begins at 12 p.m. followed by festivities at Congress Park.

Movie screening of “Comedy Warriors: Healing Through Humor” to be held June 20 at 6 p.m., at Saratoga City Center. It is a fund to raise awareness for the Peer-to-Peer program hosted by the Veterans Business Council of The Saratoga Chamber of Commerce.

 

Published in News