Staten Island OutLOUD is proud to be chosen to present The Big Read in our community for the second year in a row. By popular demand, we are hosting events featuring Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, a powerful account of the Vietnam experience, stories that resonate with veterans of all eras, all combat areas – and with their loved ones at home. Our series was originally planned for Nov 3 through Dec 10, 2012 – But Hurricane Sandy struck our community just four days before our kick-off. The storm devastated large portions of Staten Island, and directly affected thousands of Islanders – including many of our volunteers and participants. Hundreds of OutLOUD who could help were there to assist in rescue and recovery work. In the forefront of those volunteer efforts were Staten Island’s veterans groups; they worked day and night to aid people who lost their homes, and who needed basic supplies. They offered effective help in so many ways; we thank them for all they have done, and for all they continue to do for our community.
Due to the storm’s impact, we had to postpone some of our Big Read events. Nevertheless, many neighbors urged us to go forward with our Big Read programs as much as possible. They said that in Sandy’s aftermath, more than ever, we need opportunities to come together. For that reason, we presented many of our scheduled events in November & December. Events originally planned for venues that were damaged in the hurricane, were rescheduled for March & April, 2013.
Here are some photos of the marvelous intergenerational group of Islanders who joined us at Comic Book Jones, a graphic book shop where we read and discussed The Things They Carried, together with graphic novels on Vietnam and Iraq.