Upham's Corner Online

Feature Article: Geraldo Serrano Honored 8/21/2010

Posted: Saturday, August 21, 2010

The sun was shining - the weather, perfect. Friends, family, neighbors and city officials gathered at Dudley Terrace to celebrate and remember the life of Geraldo Serrano. A half dozen people each spoke of their love and respect for Mr. Serrano and of his lifelong commitment to the community. Geraldo Serrano

Mayor Menino lauded the Upham's Corner neighborhood for contributing information leading to the arrests. "We all need to look after each other, to identify issues and to step forward. You have a strong community here. Everyone including the mayor's office, the district attorney, the police department, churches and community groups worked together to make a difference."

Addressing Mr. Serrano as if he were present, the mayor seemed to speak from his heart: "Thank you, thank you, for your years of commitment to this part of our city." 
Donna Haskins, a tenant leader, remembered her friend as always present and always caring. He loved his family, he loved working at the store, he loved his Bible and he treated everyone as if they were part of his family.

Donna moved away from Upham's Corner but recently returned for a vist.  Departing the bus, she looked across the street at the store where Geraldo had worked. It wasn't the same store anymore. The name Donna had known for decades, "Hermanos Unidos", was gone. Yet, as if nothing had changed, she still looked inside the store for her friend, Geraldo. He wasn't there. She felt heartbroken and saddened.

"We must never forget the people who pass," she said, "...the legacy they leave behind" and she read a passage from the Bible, Psalm 24:3-5.

3Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD?
And who may stand in His holy place?
4He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood
And has not sworn deceitfully
5He shall receive a blessing from the LORD
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Donna Haskins, friend

Angel Serrano, son of Geraldo SerranoAngel Serrano, son of Geraldo Serrano, delivered a eulogy to his father.  His mother, Esmeralda, stood nearby. The undercurrent of emotion in Angel's voice reminded us of the tragedy back in February.   Angel deeply loved his father. That was clear. He remembered his father as a man of strength - quiet strength - who cared for his family and for the world about him.

Six months later, this event was serving as a testimony to the strength of the neighborhood, the community and the Serrano family. Angel represented his family well -- his father would have been proud.

The Geraldo Serrano Memorial PlaqueGeraldo Serrano Dedication Plaque had been hidden from view, covered by a sheet of blackplastic taped to the wall. As we listened to the speakers, our eyes wandered to that spot imagining what lay behind.  Finally the moment of anticipation had arrived. 

Staff of DBEDC first presented a beautifully framed replica of the plaque to the family, and then unveiled the wall plaque. Mounted permanently into the brick wall, the plaque is located in the building where Geraldo worked and where Geraldo died. It is a testament to his community service; it is a testament to his life. 

As Dan Linskey, superintendent-in-chief of the Boston Police Department said, "There is no greater love than when a man lays down his life."

It had been a beautiful morning.  Noel Serrano, son of Geraldo Serrano, talked about his feelings. "I feel flattered," he said, "happy and excited. “And, yes,” he added, "it has been difficult for the family but this event helps to bring a sense of peace to our lives."

Dorchester Bay was the official sponsor of the day's events. Jeanne Dubois, 15 year director, announced to the attendees that they were working on renaming Dudley Terrace the "Geraldo Serrano Way.

"Don't go away." she said, "The festivities are continuing as an all-day block party and everyone is invited."

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