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Politics

NYC Council Passes Street Co-Namings for Two Astoria Heroes

December 18, 2020

ASTORIA – The New York City Council on December 17 voted overwhelmingly for an omnibus package of street co-namings which included co-naming the northeast corner of 21st Street and 34th Avenue Lt. Paramedic Edith Elida Torres Way and the corner of 43rd Street and 25th Avenue Pfc. Luke N. Gasparre Way, both in Astoria. 

"In a year where we recognize the service of uniformed workers and the devotion to their communities, I am especially honored to have co-sponsored the street co-namings for Lt. Paramedic Edith Torres and Luke Gasparre," said Council Member Costa Constantinides. "Each one displayed the selflessness and courageousness we should all aspire to in our daily lives, and they brightened the lives of all of their friends, neighbors, and loved ones. We will miss them both dearly."

Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris said, "Luke Gasparre and Lt. Edith Torres both lived lives of service and made Astoria proud. Luke was a friend and neighborhood institution who shared with us his love for his country, his community, and his beloved Mets. I was proud to induct him into the State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame. Lt. Torres made the ultimate sacrifice for her community and her bravery will continue to inspire us all. Astoria will never be the same without them."

Lt. Paramedic Torres, like many of her fellow Bravest and Best, rushed to the World Trade Center despite being off duty on the morning of September 11, 2001. She spent the rest of the day working the pile, rescuing survivors. She died of 9/11-linked cervical cancer on February 8, 2017.

Pfc. Luke Gasparre fought in the Battle of the Bulge. For his service, he received seven medals including the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. After the war, Gasparre returned to Astoria, where he started a family and took a job with the U.S. Postal Service. In 1964, he took a second job with the New York Mets and became one of the most familiar, beloved faces at Shea Stadium and Citi Field. Gasparre passed away on February 13, 2020.

Council Member Costa Constantinides represents the New York City Council’s 22nd District, which includes his native Astoria along with parts of Woodside, East Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights. He serves as the chair of the City Council’s Environmental Protection Committee and sits on three additional committees: Sanitation, Resiliency, and Technology.

For more information, visit council.nyc.gov/costa.

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