“We Got Your Back”
The hate messages that were found scattered around the Revere Beach area and whose purveyors were intending for it to have a chilling effect on members of the Muslim community in Revere and surrounding cities not only failed to hit its target, but also was counterproductive.
Al Huda Society, a non-profit organization that caters to Muslims in the area, sprang into action and rallied leaders of other faith based communities as well as the law enforcement body to stand united against hate, bigotry and Islamophobia.
Verily, every cloud has a silver lining and the climate of hostility directed towards Muslims was very much a galvanizing tools that brought non- Muslims in the area to the Al Huda center to state in one voice and unequivocally that:” Hate will not be tolerated and that and that the entire social fabric making up the constituency of Revere, Chelsea stand together against hate threatening the safety of any member of the community.
“We got your back” said Officer Sammy Mojica, speaking for law enforcement & Chelsea Police, as he expressed his department’s unwavering support to the Muslim constituency and his solidarity with the Muslim community and their readiness to spare no effort in bringing perpetrators to justice.
Muhammed Ali-Salam of the Justice Department and Attorney Shannon Erwin were also on hand to remind the Muslims that they are a protected group under the law of the land. Members of the Muslim community who packed the room were relieved to hear that and that helped ship away at the feeling of vulnerability they might have been feeling lately.
Earlier in the week, Mayor Rizzo of Revere, put out a statement where he clearly stated that the peddlers of hate have no place in Revere, a city that boasts a very diverse population.
The event was a manifest show of solidarity where representatives of other faiths such as Father James Barry, Pastor Tim Bogertman and Rabbi Joseph Berman pledged their support to the Muslim community as it goes through this tough period of increased anti-Muslim rhetoric
Speaking on behalf of the Muslim community in the area, Al Huda society thanked the local law enforcement and leaders of other faith groups for their empathy and kindness. Their presence in that forum was a clear affirmation that they see the Muslim community as part and parcel of the aggregate group where the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts
Prof. Mohamed Brahimi
“Helping Our Veterans”
Veterans Assisting Veterans is an organization that was formed by two Army Viet Nam Veterans in 2010, Bob Fairbain and I – Dennis Moschella. We met at the Mottolo Post VFW in Revere where we decided to form an organization to help veterans and veteran causes.
After both surviving the Viet Nam War, one tour for me and three tours for Bob, we saw how we were treated when we returned and we will not let this generation of veterans be treated as we were. In our mission statement of VAV our goal is to raise money, have volunteer directors and give 100% of our proceeds away. We receive no compensation for our work. We have formed an exceptional committee including, John MacDonald, U.S. Air Force Veteran Gulf War, Joe Marchardo, U.S. Navy Veteran Viet Nam Era, John Sarro, U.S. Navy Veteran Viet Nam Era, John Dyer, U.S. Army Veteran Viet Nam Era, Tony Palmisano and Bill Plante. We also have an extensive Honorary Committee.
Since 2010 we’ve hosted a few successful events. A concert at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, Two black tie events, honoring the Medical Corps, and we are also involved in a program called Music Cures where entertainers donate their time to play music at the Jamaica Plain Veterans Hospital. We work with other veterans groups to raise awareness about the POW/MIA issues and help with chairs that are dedicated in their honor. There are over ninety-two thousand missing service members from all wars.
Recently we purchased a $17,000 wheel chair (Trac Chair) for James Crosby of Winthrop, a severely injured Marine from the Iraq war. We’ve donated to Iron Stone Farm in North Andover, which offers horseback riding for injured veterans with PTSD and numerous other injuries. We’ve also donated to the American War Widows (AWP) who are a group of young women who have lost their husbands and children who have lost their fathers. And, Operation Thank You, an organization that visits nursing homes to host small parties for older veterans who are alone, AVBI, American veterans with brain injuries, We are currently donating to Veteran Homestead an organization that provides housing and treatment for veterans and NEADS- Canines for Combat Veterans, they provide service dogs for service members and Wounded Vet Motorcycle Run and numerous smaller veteran grassroots organizations. To date we’ve raised close to 175,000 thousand dollars and donated all of it. “Our motto is all in all out”.
We are currently planning for 2015 events. In April at the Mottolo Post VFW we are hosting a fundraiser to raise money to purchase a lift for the Trac Chair to assist James Crosby load the wheel chair into his vehicle. (chair weighs 450 lbs) We are also hosting a concert at a Veterans Hospital in the summer, another black tie event in November and a POW/MIA Chair Dedication to be placed at Revere High School.
Because of our current wars our returning veterans need a lot of help especially our severely injured. Our government doesn’t seem to do enough to help; the VA scandal is an example. Our organization and mission is to raise money and awareness to help Veterans and veteran issues. We appreciate anything you could do to help us promote our cause.
Dear Mayor Rizzo,
Thank you for inviting the McKinley Student Council for a tour of City Hall on February 25, 2015. We learned a lot about leadership and government during our visit. We learned anyone can be a leader and that the government has to work together to make decisions. Leaders have a lot of responsibilities, must keep everything in order, and take responsibilities for their actions. Mayor Rizzo reminded us that we have two ears and one mouth so we can listen more than we speak. From our visit, we understand the hard work and determination it takes to lead the city and our school with pride. We look forward to our next visit.