From the Mayor’s Office
January 30, 2023
Where Eagles Soar:
Scoutmaster Frank Gaynor
On Tuesday, January 24, there was a remarkable tribute to NYPD mounted police officer Frank Gaynor who recently passed. Mounted units from NYC and throughout the northeast as well as a heartfelt showing of many units of the NYPD came to our Valley to pay tribute to their brother.
Frank’s loss was a ripple effect of 9/11. He was a first responder during the time after the attack, dealing with rescue and recovery in what we know now was an extreme, difficult, and dangerous environment. It was that valiant work that led to a disease that would eventually take his life.
My connection to Frank was through his devotion to Scouting. Frank himself was an Eagle Scout and carried those values throughout his life. He was a teacher and a leader that helped young men achieve goals to mature and become leaders themselves. As an observer over the years, I recognized in Frank his deep humility and sense of fairness. These are the leadership attributes that were so effective in his ability to connect.
I was honored to be at the scout meeting that Frank formally passed on his role as Scoutmaster. For the occasion, Frank wore a vintage scoutmaster’s jacket, he had a deep love for the history of scouting. That evening there was a traditional ceremony, but the most important part was his address to the scouts. At that moment, the physical world, all human fragility seemed to melt away with words of optimism and hope. Frank’s spirit, his smile, his love for scouting emanated the room. His words were a gift to everyone and especially the young men who were mesmerized by the power of his presence. This was an act of leadership and love. Even through the harsh reality of illness, Frank never let it interrupt the important and valuable message of bravery in the face of challenge. This was a gift from one scout to another – a life lesson on how to embrace life.
It was fitting that Frank’s funeral service and procession was an outpouring of love, it was so well deserved for this remarkable and devoted man. Although the Eagle Court of Honor is the highest level of achievement in scouting, it is only the beginning of what that achievement prepares you for – by its essence, it is a journey to equip a young man for what he may face in life. Frank embodied this, he was a role model for our scouts and for us all.
Maybe what I speak of is summed up in the Scout Law: A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. Words that Frank lived by, simple, direct, and true. Frank has, in essence, taken flight and has carried us along, with a smile and an assurance that there is nothing to fear.
The next Village Board meeting will take place on Friday, February 3, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. at Village Hall, 77 Main Street.