(HARTFORD) – Today, hundreds of friends and family of the eight workers who died in the senseless act of workplace violence on August 3 at Hartford Distributors in Manchester, Conn., joined together to pay tribute to the victims and honor their lives.
Representatives from the Teamsters Union, Hartford Distributors, Anheuser-Busch, elected officials and members of the clergy offered their condolences to the victims’ families and friends. Chris Roos, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 1035 in South Windsor, Conn., spoke about the men that were not only good workers, they were valuable members of the community.
“These were respected members of the community, who when they weren’t at work, donated their time in the church or synagogue and coaching and mentoring our youth,” Roos said. “They were selfless with their time and through their actions, made the lives of everyone they touched better. These are the things we need to remember today when we talk about them.”
Ross Hollander, President of Hartford Distributors and Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa both stressed the importance of remembering the men for how they lived their lives, not how they were taken.
“We will never forget, but in the face of this senseless evil we will remain resilient, we will demonstrate to ourselves that we will not allow this act to define the lives of those lost,” Hollander said.
“With the eyes of the world on this, we are given a tremendous opportunity to rise above the anger and hatred that has shattered so many lives,” Hoffa said. “Instead, let us remember these great men who are no longer with us. Hardworking men. Family men. Union men. Spiritual men. Selfless men. Brave, feisty and tough men.”
Victims’ family members shared their memories and thoughts at the memorial.
“I lost the best person in the world, my father,” said Gina Fazio, daughter of Francis Fazio Sr. “He was the best man in the world – an all around beautiful man. I know that the other families here are all feeling the pain I’m feeling. Just remember we’re all here together and we’re all going to get through this.”
“To my father’s Teamsters Union brothers – I want you to know he was so proud to be a blue-collar Teamster,” said Megan Cirigliano, daughter of Local 1035 President Bryan Cirigliano. “Enough has been taken from us, and we can’t let any more be taken. They had such big hearts and we must take that with us.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico
Teamsters Announce Establishment Of Hartford Distributors Memorial Fund, read more here.