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Forever Our Hero

Do you ever wonder how long it takes to change your life? What measure of time is enough to be life altering? Is it four years like high school? One year? Can your life change in a month, or a week, or a single day? We’re always in a hurry to grow up, to go places, to get ahead. And when you’re young, a few minutes can change everything.

This Saturday our town of Groton, Connecticut came together once again in honor of Joey Gingerella.. but this time we came together to celebrate the unveiling of the Joseph “Jo Jo Nice” Gingerella Memorial Highway sign.

Joey was killed in an senseless act of gun violence on December 11, 2016. I grew up with Joey and when I heard what happened and how he died trying to save someone, I knew he deserved to have a sign or a plaque in his memory. Our former high school wouldn’t do it.. they decided to have a scholarship in his name. So I contacted my Representative and asked if there was a way we could have a road sign to honor Joey. She said that she would fill out the paperwork and let me know what happens.

Well, as months went by the Bill for the sign kept getting moved along and by June of this year (2019) the Bill was passed by the Connecticut House and Senate. What I didn’t tell you was.. I had my Representative make sure that this Bill was anonymous because Joey’s dad is also a Representative and I didn’t want him to find out and ruin the surprise. So in June my Representative told Joey’s parents what was going on and they were speechless! They couldn’t believe that someone would be so thoughtful to do this for their family and for Joey.

I spoke to Joey’s parents a few days after they found out and they were so thankful that even after 2 years their son was still being thought about.

So fast forward to Saturday..

I was so grateful for the hard work and time for everyone who was involved helping me get this sign up. I couldn’t have done it without them!

The emotions that were shared and felt on Saturday will never go away but knowing that Joey will forever be a part of this town, the town he loved and gave so much too, is the reason why I wanted this sign up.. I wanted people to know who he was and what kind of legacy he has left!

Here is my speech from Saturday..