Legacy

By Patrick Chierichella, Educational Coordinator

The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation

Long before the day itself, the true harbingers of Memorial Day, the red poppies sold by veterans at any storefront where I shop appear. Photos will appear in every newspaper on that weekend, and they should. There will be a silhouetted shot of a bugler sounding Taps, of rows of flags on the graves of veterans. A country must remember its fallen.

While visiting a friend in Crossville, Tennessee, I read through the local newspaper, The Glade Sun. An article by a Rod McBrayer was entitled, “This truth remains: Your life will outlive you.” He recounted the life, times and lasting impact of his grandmother’s words and actions.

In author Mark Helprin’s collection, The Pacific and Other Stories,  an older man recalls stories of his late father and is saddened by the realization that with his own passing those tales so resonant in his heart and soul, that speak so pointedly to him will be deleted from collective memory when he also passes away.

I joke with my wife about the depth of my interest and understanding about many things. In her former life, Kate was a teacher of LOTE, a Language Other Than English, a rather pc way of saying she taught Spanish. Because of her, I know the names Lorca and Neruda, fiery poets of contemporary literature. Looking through The Captain’s Verses by Neruda, I came across the following lines in the poem The Mountain and the River:

Who are those who suffer?

I do not know but they call to me.

I do not know, but they are mine

And they say to me: “We suffer.”

Further, in the poem, Lives, Neruda wrote

…because it is the voice of all

those who did not speak,

of those who did not sing…

Certainly, in the cases of Carlie, Hailey Owens, Jessica Holloway, Leiby Kletzky, their immortality, tragically and notoriously earned, will endure far beyond the temporal span of their existence among us. Their voices were lost; their songs not sung.

We must remember. Most of us did not know them. Yet they are ours. All of us who remember now speak and sing for them.

Within the next six weeks our Foundation will visit at least five different schools and groups, presenting our lessons 11 times. Our Really Beyond Prime Time Group will interact with students in Brooklyn, Brentwood, Holbrook, Holtsville, Lake Grove and Smithtown, meeting over 2,300 students, grades K through 5!

We do not know them. Yet, they too are ours.

 

About The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation

Founded by Matthew J. Barbis after his 11-year-old cousin, Carlie Brucia, was abducted and murdered in Sarasota, FL in 2004. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation’s goal is to reduce the number of child abductions in the U.S. by educating and empowering young minds with the knowledge necessary to avoid abduction. Utilizing puppets and a formalized educational curriculum, the foundation provides elementary-aged children with the Stranger Safety Awareness Program, free of charge. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

If you build it…

By Patrick Chierichella, Educational Coordinator

The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation

We are nearing the end of “Rose Brucia Stranger Safety Awareness Week” in New York State and I must let all of you out there, who have accessed our site to download our materials, know how gratified all of us at the Foundation are for your support. We can speak plainly or yell from mountaintops, but unless YOU are picking up our message, all our efforts will be in vain.

When you spend so much time in developing lessons for our Stranger Safety Awareness Program, you find yourself searching all media for potential teachable moments. The sorrowful realization is that when you find such a moment, it will be a report about some reprehensible action perpetrated on a child by an amoral individual or group.

The various media reported an incident in which a 13-year old runaway became property for a group selling sexual favors from her.

A child is approached by a stranger in a car as she is on her way to school on Long Island today.

In the movie Prisoners, the mother of an abducted child vehemently says to her husband, “You made me feel safe”. Left unsaid: Look what you let happen! Why was she berating him? Was she caught up in assigning blame him?

At The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation, we realize there is no magic bullet to make every child or teen or adult safe from sexual predators. We do know that a consistent message from parents, schools and other social groups is necessary for a reduction in child abductions to become reality.

Practice the Stranger Safety Awareness skills presented in the simple lessons provided by The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation. Construct your family’s stranger safety awareness program with these materials/suggestions.

  • Ensure your children know who strangers are.
  • Practice the correct and safe way to deal with strangers at the door.
  • Select a secret word/password for identification of trusted adults or teenagers by your children.
  • Instill the proper way of dealing with being lost at the mall or in a big store.
  • Go over the proper response to an emergency.
  • Model the mirroring technique for maintaining a safe distance from a stranger.

We, here at the Foundation, believe that forewarned is forearmed. We also see our lessons as a potential gateway for increasing communication between parent and child. It matters little to ignore this life-altering, life-threatening issue of child abduction. You cannot whistle in the dark to alleviate your anxiety.  As the old song says, “Teach your children well”.

About The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation
Founded by Matthew J. Barbis after his 11-year-old cousin, Carlie Brucia, was abducted and murdered in Sarasota, FL in 2004. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation’s goal is to reduce the number of child abductions in the U.S. by educating and empowering young minds with the knowledge necessary to avoid abduction. Utilizing puppets and a formalized educational curriculum, the foundation provides elementary-aged children with the Stranger Safety Awareness Program, free of charge. The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

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