David Pietrusza's Comments
Regarding His Induction into the
Inaugural Class of
The Greater Amsterdam School District Hall of Fame
Friday, September 25, 2015
Thank you.

I have received awards and nominations, appeared on national television
addressing literally millions of viewers, but I can tell you that the honors received
from your home town are by no means negligible. They retain a very special piece
of real estate in your own heart. To this day being elected to the City Council here
by my neighbors ranks among my greatest honors—and always will.
So will this.
Thank you.

This is a Hall of
Fame.

So let’s talk about “Fame.” A personage in two of my books now—New York’s
Mayor James J. Walker—said near to the end of his all-too chequered career:
“Fame is a comet chasing its own tail . . . ”

It
comes.

It
goes.

More important than fame is
accomplishment. And all of you here—whether
“famous” or not—have accomplished something, whether with your families, your
careers, or in your community. Congratulations to
you here tonight.

It is a wonderful thing—I guess—to be honored, to be exalted. But as I am
“exulted” here tonight, I am immeasurably more humbled to be even mentioned
alongside
Dr. Tom Catena. My accomplishments have been largely of words. His
have been of
deeds—and of real sacrifice. It is completely impossible to stand
here now with any sense of egotism when contemplating what he has accomplished
and I have not—“what I have failed to do,” as the prayer of our common faith
reads. One feels, in such circumstances, small rather than large.

But I may yet accomplish more than I have—and so definitely will this school
district's current students: they shall write—and
heal—and build—and lead. They
shall have to. Our nation faces challenges of immense magnitude. But
Amsterdamians have long faced great challenges. Amsterdamians are
tough. They
overcome great odds. They achieve. They
survive.

God bless Amsterdam—and God bless America.

Thank you.
David Pietrusza and fellow inductee Patrick Reilly
The 2015 Honorees
Homecoming 2015