North Plainfield, New Jersey: A Face of America Commentary
By Tony Mussari
Copyright 2010
Mussari-Loftus Associates, LTD

I saw the Face of America today. It belonged to a group people who came together for a special event in North Plainfield, New Jersey.

I saw the Face of America today on a brisk December evening. The atmosphere was damp, but there was nothing but warmth in the hearts of those assembled.

I saw the Face of America today. It was open, welcoming, caring, kind, and filled with anticipation.

This Face of America belonged to a school board president, Linda L. Bond-Nelson, and several members of her board of education. These are public officials who love their community and their schools.

It belonged to a Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Marilyn Birnbaum. She knows what leadership is all about.

It belonged to a high school principal, Jerard Stephenson. He knows how to make good things happen for his high school.

It belonged to a Supervisor of the Arts, Tom Mazur. His attention to detail is nothing short of amazing.

It belonged to two navy officers, MU2 Laura Carey and BM 2 Tamara Resilard. They represent their country and the U.S. Navy with dignity and class.

It belonged to a teacher and coach, Skip Pulcrano. He knows the value of service to others.

It belonged to Jessica Figueroa, a co-captain of the cheerleading squad. She knows the meaning of the word responsible. In four years of cheering, she never missed a practice, a game or an event.

It belonged to friends like Ann Marie and Frank Pizzani, their son, DJ, and Chivon and Adam MacMillan. They make life worth living.

It belonged to four members of the Rodriguez family who came to share hundreds of items from the largest private collection of 9/11 memorabilia in the State of New jersey.

This Face of America speaks to America on its best days. It is not rich. It is not famous, it is not powerful. It is reliable, inspirational, encouraging, and loyal. It speaks to America as a land of opportunity and a land of the good. It speaks to one of America’s greatest strengths, diversity.

On this evening in December, I saw the Face of America at the North Plainfield High School in New Jersey, a place of learning that is now a home for the National 9/11 Remembrance Flag.

Guedis Cardenas, president of the senior class, is right, "There are people in this world with a good heart, good will and very willing to help you." You will find them in North Plainfield, New Jersey, a place where one finds the Face of America’s tomorrow today.