Town of Hempstead Senior Councilman’s idea sponsored by Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, unanimously passed Senate, signed into law by the President
Town of Hempstead Senior Councilman Anthony J. Santino proudly announced that the President of the United States signed H.R. 2079, a bill that renames the East Rockaway Post Office in honor of the late John J. Cook, into law on May 15, 2012.
Santino, who grew up in East Rockaway and later served as a village trustee and deputy mayor, was touched by Mr. Cook’s personal story of service and sacrifice after a conversation last year with Cook’s widow, Roberta, who still lives in the East Rockaway community.
At Councilman Santino’s request, Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy sponsored a bill to officially rename the post office the “John J. Cook United States Post Office.” McCarthy introduced the legislation in the House of Representatives on June 1, 2011.
After passing the House of Representatives and then unanimously clearing the United States Senate last week, the President signed the bill into law earlier this week. The name change takes effect immediately.
“John J. Cook was a true American hero who served the East Rockaway community for more than six decades, making him one of the longest-serving postal employees in the nation’s history. Renaming this post office in his honor is a fitting tribute to his selfless service and personal sacrifice for close to seven decades,” said Santino.
“I want to thank Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy for shepherding this measure through the House of Representatives,” Santino continued. “It will keep alive the memory of a man who served the people of East Rockaway with such extraordinary dedication.”
Cook enlisted in the Navy during World War II and survived a 1945 attack in Japan where 724 men were killed and 255 were wounded. Starting his position at the post office at age 17 – breaking for the war, and continuing his USPS service after his tour of duty – Cook maintained his route in East Rockaway at the post office from 1949 through 2005. John J. Cook trekked through rain, snow, sleet and hail on his daily 8-mile route to ensure the daily mail was always delivered on time, racking up 150,000 miles over the years.
“A World War II veteran, Cook was a member of the greatest generation who married his beloved Roberta and built a life together after the war here in East Rockaway. Walking the same 8 mile route for 60 years and four months, John often worked late hours, holidays or came in early to ensure his job got done and the families and seniors of our community got their mail,” Santino added.
John continually touched the lives of the countless people he served spanning many generations. He knew all of his customers very well and gave personalized service throughout his entire career. John J. Cook passed away in 2005 at the age of 78.
An official renaming ceremony will be held later in the year and organized by the United States Postal Service.