Orchard Beach annual New York Salutes America Fireworks Extravaganza held on June 27

The Bronx celebrated America with live music, a promenade celebration and fireworks in what proved a fun time for all.

The annual New York Salutes America Fireworks Extravaganza was a beautiful display of fireworks by Grucci and community unity at Orchard Beach on Fri. June 27.

The event was hosted by Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and state Senator Jeff Klein. They were led onto the stage in front of the Orchard Beach Pavilion before the start of the fireworks by a group of bagpipers, and were joined by many of the borough’s elected officials.

Diaz took the opportunity to note that this year also marks the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Bronx as a county, and asked the crowd to give a round of applause to the attendee veterans who had made sacrifices to uphold American freedoms. Klein paid tribute to the war heroes.

“This is a terrific event and I am so glad year after year many more people come because this is about the Bronx,” said Klein. “This is our way of kicking off the Fourth of July celebration and I think everyone understands that it is a time to celebrate with families, but it is also a time to remember our veterans.”

Klein added: “The freedoms we enjoy — really the sacrifice that went through the life and limbs of veterans — was the coinage used to purchase that freedom.”

Diaz said the event celebrated the borough as “one big Bronx happy family” of great multiculturalism.

“Everybody talks about diversity, but the Bronx is diversity, and we have been living that for a long time,” said Klein.

The pair of politicians was joined by elected and appointed officials, including state Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Assemblyman and Bronx Democratic County Committee Chairman Carl Heastie, and Assemblymen Mark Gjonaj, Marcos Crespo, and Michael Benedetto, and Deputy Borough President Aurelia Greene, Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson, 80th Assembly District State Committeeman Joseph McManus, and Thomas Messina, an aide to Congressman Joseph Crowley.

For more photos, see page 8

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 742–3393. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

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