Edward Iannielli III
Brooklyn, New York
I have been very reflective on my life of late and of all the dreams and hopes I have that I still would like to accomplish before I cross that bridge into the next part of my journey. I am a proud son, a proud father and I have been very lucky in my life. I have learned a great deal from my mother and father who always taught me to believe in myself and to never be afraid. I am very inspired by the memory of my parents and all they have provided me growing up. My dad was a proud iron worker who worked on many buildings, bridges and skyscrapers that dot the New York City skyline. He was featured in a book written by Gay Talese called The Bridge, in which a full chapter was devoted to an experience my dad had while working on the Verrazano bridge. It was October 9, 1965 that seemed like any other day but this day would change everything for my father. As he went to perform his job on the bridge after talking to his friend and colleague only moments before he heard screams from his friend who lost his footing and slipped as he tried to grasp hold of the catwalk. My dad looked over in horror as he tried to grab hold of him. As he tried to pull him up he almost went over as he had saw visions of my mom and I as a young toddler and all he remembered was realizing his friend falling through his hands as he did not have a firm grip and he being pulled also and going over until he was saved by the fast actions of another ironworker who saved his life. My dad was never the same after that incident seeing his friend and colleague fall to his death.
My dad was very courageous in his life and he managed to stay strong as he worked on many other projects including the World Trade Center. The day the towers were struck by terrorists and went down he was truly heartbroken as he relayed the memories he had of working on them as we spoke over the phone that fateful day in September. I will never forget that converstion for as long as I live.
My mother has taught me to always be patient, understanding and to always believe in myself and to never give up.
I am the proud father of a son who is diagnosed with autism and I write a blog titled "A Father's Love, My Son and Autism. It is a collection of our experiences in trying to help our son and stand by his side to help him to be strong, to believe in himself and to be happy.