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Madison Square Park

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, October 30, 2002

PARKS MOURNS THE LOSS OF ONE OF ITS FINEST


In the early morning hours of Thursday, October 24, a Parks Enforcement Patrol officer was murdered. Shakemia Wilson, 24, was fatally shot while off-duty in the Bronx. (An arrest has been made in connection with the case.)

Ms. Wilson joined Parks on August 19, 2002, as a POP/PEP CSA, an associate PEP officer. At the time of her death, she had completed PEP Academy and was assigned to patrolling Williamsbridge Oval Park in the Bronx.

Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe said "The death of any member of the Parks family is sad; this murder of a mother of two children is a terrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ms. Wilson’s family."

According to Glen Rowan, Citywide PACT Security Coordinator, who was responsible for training Ms. Wilson, she had a very warm and engaging demeanor.

"She was reliable, and collegial to everyone she worked with," said Rowan. "It was a pleasure to have her in our ranks, though she was only with us a short while."

This mother of two was said to be very dedicated to her new career. Her job with Parks was to slated to last 6 months through the Parks Opportunity Program (POP) and she was likely on her way to full-time employment in the private sector. She had completed the POP Security Training Academy and received her 8 Hour Certificate for work in the field of security.

Rowan reported that Ms. Wilson set a good example for others. On the night of her death, she volunteered to work at the set-up for the Great Halloween Party in Central Park. Her supervisor, Ruben Dios, recalls her as being assertive and well-liked by her coworkers. "She had a very pleasant personality," he said. "She was very down to earth and was a concerned parent."

The mother of two was pursuing higher education and was enrolled at Hostos Community College and was set to receive her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education in 2003.

Shakemia Wilson was a dedicated employee, a good friend, and a loving mother known for her warm demeanor. She will be missed.


FOLLOW-UP ON FARRAGUT

As there were some questions regarding the context of Admiral Farragut’s famous line spoken in the midst of the Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay, below is an excerpt from Rear Admiral Ronald A. Rout’s remarks during last week’s rededication of the Farragut Monument in Madison Square Park.

"Admiral Farragut is most famous for a line he uttered during a frantic moment in the Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay. At the height of the battle, the 63-year old Rear Admiral had himself tied into the upper rigging of his flagship USS HARTFORD so that he could see above the smoke. Guns from the two forts guarding the entrance were raking his fleet. One of his ships had just been sunk by one of the string of floating explosive mines then know as torpedoes. The other ships had stopped in confusion as to what to do next.

"What is the trouble?" was shouted through a trumpet to the lead ship USS BROOKLYN.

"Torpedoes," was BROOKLYN’s answer.

"Damn the torpedoes!" exclaimed Farragut. "Four bells! Captain Drayton, go ahead! Jouett, full speed!"

Thus the HARTFORD passed the BROOKLYN, took her place at the head of the line, and led the fleet into the bay. And thus, the line, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead" was born- somewhat erroneously- into our psyche and our lexicon."

THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PARK

(Wednesday, November 8, 1989)

TIME TRAVEL AT BELVEDERE CASTLE

Princess Belva, the hostess of Belvedere Castle in Central Park, was greeting the participants of this year’s Haunted Halloween Tour last Saturday, when a demon developer from the future invaded the festivities.

Not quite Frankenstein, but equally horrific, the demon developer related to the children a fiendish plan to destroy Central Park. It seems that in the New York City of 2389, every bit of land is covered with skyscrapers. The demon wanted to erect even more buildings, but there was no land available except for Central Park. So he decided to travel back in time to destroy the original designs for the park and prevent 840 acres from ever becoming green.

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."

George Bernard Shaw
(1856-1950)

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