My dad’s inner strength and courage

In looking at my son and knowing his challenges I realize how important it is to be there for him and to help guide him with my wife’s and my love and support. I know that our unconditional expression of love for him, my wife’s nurturing of him from baby to young boy, our encouragement for him to do his best and our strong family support system which we had as kids helps in building Matthew’s self esteem and in giving him confidence. We are working on this in helping Matthew every day.

My dad always knew how important it was to spend time with us when we were young kids, my sisters and I. He was a very dedicated father and with his and mom’s love and support we were able to learn the coping skills that are necessary to get us through the rough moments of life.

We knew dad was a strong and very dedicated man with a love for his family; a devotion to his wife, our mom; a dedication unequalled to his life’s work as an iron worker and a desire to bring out his best in all that he did. Dad was a very humble man but he was very proud and he valued all the right things. He never finished his education as he suffered from dyslexia and though he had such difficulties with reading and spelling he still had a strong desire and passion to read and he managed through it as he always enjoyed reading about WW II as he grew up during that era and remembered listening to radio reports of the war as a young boy. He was 6 years old when Pearl Harbor was attacked and he shared stories of his experiences with me and he described it like he had just lived it. I was amazed how he was able to recall those experiences from so many years ago.

When my dad was a young boy he had his struggles with school given his dyslexia and he recalls one of his nuns in St Vincent Ferrer told him he would never amount to anything. He told me this and he felt very hurt by her comments and he used those discouraging words to give him a strength and determination to do his best. He took that nun’s unjust criticism and turned it into a positive thing as that stayed with him the rest of his life. Years later he forgave her and thought maybe that was her way of motivating him which certainly turned out to be the case.

I am amazed how much my dad accomplished in his life and all he accomplished as an iron worker. I am always reminded of his work whenever I drive to New Jersey over the Verrazano bridge or I visit the city with my family and I look at the tall skyscrapers as he worked on a number of them. The World Trade Center for one, The Marriott Marquis Hotel, The Citibank building in Long Island City. When I look at the high school I graduated from I think of my dad as he helped build that and it was named after one of his heroes, John F. Kennedy. I always smile when I think of my dad for his true love and devotion to all that he did. He was truly a selfless person with the biggest heart and he just loved his wife, us and all his grandchildren.

It was my dad who would come over and spend the day with Matthew and help him build his Lego city and he would listen to him and talk to him. He was such a caring and compassionate father and grand father and he gave Matthew the benefit of his time and love and we were so fortunate to have him for as long as we did.

My dad was very courageous and he had a lot of his own struggles throughout life but he stayed focused and was very strong and he was able to endure for as long as he could. His pride and love kept him going for so long. We are very proud of our dad and we learned so much from him and we are trying our best to lead our lives with the same strength and determination and teach those same traits to our son as well.

When dad left school he enlisted in the navy and served his country for 2 years before he decided he would follow in his father’s foot steps and become an iron worker. This helped shape him into the man he became and he always loved working on the high iron as he always said that it was in his soul and it brought out the very best in him. He was a small man of 5′ 7″ in stature but a big man when it came to heart and everyone knew my dad was one of the best iron workers but he just shrugged it off and got down to business with his work. He was one of a kind and we were very lucky to have him in our life.

Edward D. Iannielli III

in dedication to my Dad
Edward D. Iannielli Jr

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