QUEENS VILLAGE — Incarnation Catholic Academy invited the 105th Precinct to attend a socially safe, in-person celebration on Oct. 28 to mark National First Responders Day. Congress designated Oct. 28 as National First Responders Day three years ago to honor firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians, and others who are first on the scene in dangerous situations.
“It was a nice way to acknowledge our local police precinct, show them our appreciation, and thank them for all that they do for us and our community,” said Father Josephjude Gannon, pastor at Incarnation Parish.
The day had a different vision in mind a few weeks ago when the school’s calendar and plans were being made, according to Mary Bellone, principal at Incarnation Catholic Academy. October 28 was supposed to be “Superhero Day” for the students in pre-k and kindergarten, who were going to dress up as their favorite fictional superheroes.
“But we started to think about the last few months and about our everyday superheroes — our police, firemen, doctors, nurses, etc. — and decided to make them our superheroes,” Bellone explained. “The children loved this because many of their parents are first responders, and so to be able to say they are superheroes is awesome!”
The pre-k and kindergarten kids greeted the police officers in the school’s auditorium with balloons, gifts, and big grins. They also sang a song and later approached the officers, one by one, to give them poems and handmade cards.
A question-and-answer session was also held towards the end of the event, but the students also took that time as an opportunity to thank them. Some students raised their hands, saying, “Thanks for watching over us and making sure we’re safe,” according to Father Gannon.
Incarnation Catholic Academy also bought pizza for the attending community affairs officers, including 10 pies, to bring back to the police precinct.
“It was not only an opportunity for the kids to interact with the police on both a human and fun level, but to also show that the police are part of our family and community,” Father Gannon said.
The 105th Precinct has been part of Incarnation’s fabric, helping out with outdoor events and food pantries at both the church and school.