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Even if You Weren’t Born in Groton, You Know You Are a

If: by Maya Jung

1. You can explain how Groton is both a town and a city and how that works.

2. You know that EB “builds the best” and in doing so protects our Nation.

3. You know that Leo Faccinni has quietly assisted many in need.

4. You love walking the grounds of Avery Point and are thankful to those who prevented it from being sold to private interests in the 1980s.

5. You know that with all the off-duty police and military present that “The Spot” is a safe place to enjoy yourself.

6. You know the late Bob Sharp built wonderful bridges for and between people.

7. You support and cheer for both birds - Go Fitch Falcons! Go Grasso Eagles!

8. You love to take the little ones to Poquonnock Plains Park - best playground in the region!

9. You hope Bluff Point and the Hailey Farm remain town treasures.

10. You know that when we all joined together to save the Subase that we also saved Groton.

How else do you know? Send us your comments or post them on our website:

Lift Up Your Hearts: Healing Haiti residentAuthor

by Roger Zotti F

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or Dr. Anthony G. Alessi, writing Lift Up Your Hearts: Healing Haiti, Land of Hardship (Passionist Press) “was easy. Living it was diffi cult. It was a daily emotional roller coaster ride.” Concisely written, the book is an account of the life-changing experiences the author and 14 other healthcare professionals faced after “the world witnessed one of the greatest natural disasters in recent history when Haiti was struck by a devastating earthquake” on January 12, 2010.

Accompanying Dr. Alessi, Medical Director for The William W. Backus Hospital Primary Stroke Center, Norwich, and a Board-certifi ed neurologist, was a group from Backus: Dr. Tom Bell and his wife, Patty, an operating room nurse; and Cindy Davis, a critical care nurse. The other eleven healthcare workers were from St. Peter’s Parish, Greenville, NC.

The Passionists, a Catholic

religious community, sponsored the mission. The book’s take-away message, Dr. Alessi said, is that “the tragedy has provided a growth opportunity for many people who have become involved with Haiti. I feel that when you help others in need, you’re also helping your- self.” In fact, when he speaks to groups about his Haitian experiences he tells them, “I’ve gotten much more out of the experiences than I’ve actually put in.”

He continued: “I think that if we give of ourselves to others who have been disconnected from society—like the folks in Haiti, who have been disconnected from the world

economy and from many opportunities because of their government—it can be an uplifting experience. (Of course, even in our own community we have people who have become disconnected.) I’d also like read- ers to see how the book applies to their own lives, as they read about the people who became involved in the disaster.”

Writing Lift Up Your Hearts “was easy. Living it was difficult.” - Dr. Anthony G. Alessi

Truman Capote said most writers overwrite. But that doesn’t hold true for Dr. Alessi. “The book was deliberately kept brief” and inexpensive. “You can read it cover to cover in probably two hours—then pass it on and discuss it.” Dr. Alessi never expected to write Lift Up Your Hearts. “In our last interview,” he said, “I gave you a whole different idea for a book I was thinking about - then the earthquake happened and presented an opportunity. I feel writing it and writing my column is somewhat therapeutic. The added feature here is that every penny from the sale of the book goes directly to

a charity in Haiti. Also, everyone who worked on the book was a volunteer.”

One of the many stand-out aspects of this valuable book

is the author’s continuous praise of the heroic individuals with whom he worked. Though Dr. Alessi modestly places himself in the background, at the same time it’s clear he was gallantly in the forefront the moment he stepped foot in Haiti. Another aspect concerns Haiti’s future. Despite the suffering and heartbreak he encountered, Dr Alessi said, “I believe effective change is underway in Haiti. This very slow process may not be completed in my lifetime, but I am grateful for the opportunity to be a small part of the revitalization of Haiti.” To post your comments, visit

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