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Dr. Salvatore J. Culosi

Dr. Salvatore J. Culosi

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May 24, 2016
Dear Son...We are at mass on the 24th of every month...and today it was the Noon one...that was being offered in your name...on this Ten Years and Four Months Remembrance Day.

Par for the course...your name was once again...not announced at the mass...and even though...I know God knows its intention...was for the repose of your soul...I still haven't developed the tolerance...to let it go...when your name goes unsaid. I have not...and likely never will ...come to terms with their reasoning...concerning the Last Rites issue ...and then to be overlooked...even in this case...just gets to me.

Maybe today is just a particularly bad one...and it began this morning ...with Dad telling me...he got an email from the FCPD's...Col. R... informing him of a review...that their Criminal Justice Academy is undertaking...concerning the ready gun position...and that changes based on Dad's recommendations...are expected. As a member of the Use of Force Committee...which was part of... the Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission...he was invited by CM...on behalf of the Bd. Of Supervisors...to attend the meeting this morning...of the Public Safety Committee...where a discussion was to be held...on an Action Item...before the Board is to formally act on the Ad Hoc recommendations ...related to Use of Force and Communications.

I had been unaware of the email...since it was sent to his email address...and when I decided to do some surfing...I came across an article...citing updates on police accountability in FFX, VA. As I continued to read...I came across a paragraph...that cited police involved shootings...and the killing of three unarmed men. You, David Masters and John Geer. There was a link to each of these isolated incidents...as they once were named...but that has changed...since Ferguson and Staten Island. I read the linked article... citing what they caused...to happen to you...and our family...and I was right back to square one...reliving all of it.

Sal...what they did to you...is and always will be for me...both shameful and reprehensible on their part...and unforgivable on mine...and yet...they managed to compound it...by doing it again...to two other families.

In our case...Bullock was not held accountable...and there were no consequences to match what he did...he was even made a detective...and is now retired from the FCPD.

Ziants was fired in 2011...for improper use of deadly force...in the 2009 shooting and killing of Mr. Masters...and Torres who shot and killed Mr. Geer in 2013...was fired in 2015...about the same time...the special grand jury was requested...by Commonwealth Attorney R. Morrogh... unlike the now retired after 40 years...Horan...who didn't see the need for a grand jury in our case...even though officer's stories were quite contradictory of each others'...but because Horan stated...where there is no intent... there is no crime...there was no grand jury called...to challenge any of the discrepancies...in those statements ...and in my opinion...MPO Bullock... knew from experience...all the right buzz words...and they even said...he didn't look like he was lying.

The special grand jury indicted Torres for murder...and on the day he was to stand trial...Torres plea bargained to an involuntary manslaughter charge... even though in his initial statements ...he said it was a deliberate act on his part...and he wasn't sorry for the guy. He may receive only 12 months... if the judge who will preside over his sentencing in June... agrees to that...otherwise the judge may pass his own sentence...for Torres to serve.

Justice is seldom served on this side of Heaven...but someday we all will know the truth.

I pray that You...David Masters...and John Geer...are all resting in peace.. in God's eternal light.

So this has been my day...replaying all that has happened to not only us...but to these other families as well.

There was one saving grace that helped to counter my upset...this evening...I did get to watch your niece play in two volleyball games.

God bless you Sal...as you keep watching over our family.

Son...you are very loved...very missed ...and in my prayers...always.
May 21, 2016
Dear Son...On this another dreary day... as all it seems to keep doing is raining...there was an unexpected ray of sunshine...delivered by way of a text message...from your sister.

Her daughter...your Godchild...who normally would have been graduating from UVA today...but because of some relatively new rule...regarding the 5 year Master's program...which she is enrolled in...won't be receiving her undergrad diploma...until she finishes her master's degree next year...at which time...she will receive both of her diplomas...and as a result of this rule...it wasn't clear if she would even be permitted...to walk the lawn today...with her friends...or if she'd even be allowed...to wear a cap and gown...because she wasn't officially graduating.

We were told it was all up in the air ...so we didn't entertain the idea..of even trying to be there. Your sister and her family went just in case...so they could at least...take pictures of her with her friends...if it all fell into place at the last minute...and ...it did...and turned out...to be even better than expected.

Not only was she able to walk the lawn ...in her cap and gown...with her friends...but her name was included in the program...along with the letters ...BA/MT PBK...and was announced...as she was called to stand up...and be recognized...as elected to Phi Beta Kappa...which totally surprised your sister and brother-in-law. It is quite the honor...and is reserved for ...the top 12%...of the fourth-year class. These students are selected... for their stellar academic performance ...in studies that celebrate...both the breadth and depth...of the liberal arts and sciences.

She is a Math major...so her name was announced again...as she was called to receive a blank scroll...at the Dept. of Mathematics Diploma Ceremony...that was being held for the students...who actually were receiving diplomas.

Who knew any of this was likely to happen...and we missed it. Dad and I...better still be here...so we can be there...next year...for her real graduation.

She is a very intelligent young lady.. and so unpretentious. You would never know...just how talented and smart she is. Of course she is a MATH whiz... and has Dad amazed...by what she has learned and knows. She wants to be a high school math teacher...at DJO no less. Her grades have been off the charts...these past 4 years...and her grade point average is unbelievable. Our 2012 DJO high school Valedictorian ...just keeps excelling...and making all of us...so very proud of her.

Her younger sister...who is a freshman at DJO...just lettered in academics... so we have another smart cookie...who can look to...some pretty impressive role models.

Your eldest niece...is also bright... and is working hard...and doing very well in her position too.

Not bragging Sal...just so amazed at their gifts.

Sal...please keep watching over each of them...as well as your two sisters ...your brother...your nephews...and your other niece. Your eldest nephew..just turned eighteen...so many milestones.. and how I wish you were here...with us ...to see all of them.

You are loved...you are missed...and you are in my prayers...always.
May 08, 2016
Dear Salvatore...This is the 11th Mother's Day...that will have me visiting you...and all because of them...and what they caused to happen. It pains me...each time I walk the path...that leads me to your resting place...because this is not the way it should be...and on the particularly special days...it just makes me all the more...if I could even be any more...incensed...by what they did to you...and our family.

Yesterday we all were in NJ...at a family gathering...in celebration of your Aunt's milestone birthday...and while it was good to be in the company of extended family...and your Grandmother...on this Mother's Day weekend...it was for me...just one more occasion...that magnified what your loss to us means...and it poured salt...on my already open wound... because the stark reality is...that as all of your young adult cousins...are now of age...and settling down... marrying...buying homes...and starting families of their own...the normal getting on with their lives...and while I am happy for them and their parents...it makes me sad...that you have been denied...all that may have been in your future...and ours too...if only...but because of those who stole you from your life...and ours...this new normal... that we are left with...painfully contrasts with...the what could have been...and what should have been...norm.

I miss you so much...

Keep watching over our family.

You are loved and prayed for...always.
April 24, 2016
Dear Son...It is now...the Ten Years and Three Months Remembrance Day...so we attended the 10:30 mass...that was...being offered in your memory this morning...although once again... the dear lector failed...to announce your name...even though...it was written in the church bulletin. I must admit...whenever that happens...it doesn't bring out the best in me.

Yesterday I went to the florist...to pick up the roses...that I brought today...to your resting place...and to the St. Joseph statue. I have not been able...to make our Tuesday visit ...on a continuing basis...as the weather has become a deciding factor.. and rainy Tuesdays are becoming much more common...than I'd like...and now it's even forecast...for this upcoming one too.

This past week has been a difficult one...as I read the articles and comments made...to the TJ reports on the Geer case...and the A. Torres murder trial. Plea bargaining...the Geer daughters well-intentioned...but naïve letter re mercy for Torres...and the pros and cons...on both sides of the comments section...in the articles ...have left me...with my own deeply felt opinions...in this matter...and with regrets too...re all the should.. would...and could haves...in our own case...with the hindsight of...if only.

I understand both sides...youth brings the innocence...and idealism...of the Geer girls...in asking for mercy to be shown to Torres. The grief...felt by John Geer's parents...seeks what is owed to their son...ie. justice for having his life taken from him...and them.

Justice...accountability...and the consequences fitting the unnecessary act...that wrongfully...unjustifiably ...and violently...took the life of a beloved son...and a caring father... from his family...demands more...in my view...than the absurd plea bargain of a 12 month sentence.

There are still unresolved issues in this case...and I hope when the time comes...that the deciding judge... will use his wisdom...and that justice will be served.

You know my concerns...and what is on my mind...and in my heart...so please keep close watch over your sisters... their families...and your brother.

Sal...I love and miss you so very much ...and you are in my thoughts each and every day...as I pray for you...always.
March 27, 2016
Dear Salvatore...Dad and I attended the 6:45 Easter Sunday mass...that was offered this morning in your memory. It was a high mass being said and sung entirely in Latin...and it reminded me of the masses...we would attend when I was growing up. The priest had his back to the parishioners...pre Vatican II style...and for whatever reasons... it just felt more sacred...like it did ...way back then.

After mass we visited your resting place...and I remembered to return the statue of the praying angel...that I had forgotten to bring with me the other day. So now everything is back to where it was.

When I spoke to Cyn and wished her a Happy Easter...she told me that was the secular greeting...and that the correct greeting for today is...Christ is Risen! Alleluia...and the response should be...Indeed He has risen! Who knew...for as long as I can remember.. we always said Happy Easter...with the exception being...the Italian greeting of Buona Pasqua...said to our Italian speaking relatives.

In any event...holidays and family gatherings...will never be...what they once were...no matter what greeting is offered...and that is...because... because...and because.

I pray you are having a Blessed and Joyous Easter...in a place far better than the one we know. God bless you, son.

Keep watching over your sisters and their families...and your brother.

I love you Sal...I miss you beyond words...and you are in my daily thoughts...and in my prayers...always.
March 24, 2016
Dear Salvatore...Today marks the...10 Years and 2 Months Remembrance Day... of your loss to us...but I couldn't schedule...my usual...24th of the month mass for you...because today is also Holy Thursday...and only one mass is celebrated...and that is the Mass of the Lord's Supper...but I do have a mass for you...being said on Easter Sunday...to make up for this...and it will be the 6:45 AM mass...that is said in Latin.

I did get to visit your resting place today...and returned the vase and flowers...that had to be removed from March 1 to the 15th...so that FMP could do their spring cleanup. I wasn't able to have it returned any sooner...but at least it is there now. I left a Rose to mark this day...and a Lily plant with the Palm cross...that Dad made for you last weekend. On the way home...I also left a Rose at the St. Joseph statue. My new normal ritual...thanks to them...or should I say...not so new anymore...since so much time has passed.

I had a mass said for Nan yesterday... marking the 29 Years Remembrance Day.. of another great loss to our family. She was always a very loving...caring and giving...Mother and Grandmother... and is also...so very missed.

I start out patient therapy this coming week...and hope to be back driving in another two...and then I can resume our Tuesday visits.

It will be a quiet Easter...because I didn't quite account for how early it would be this year...and my surgery date cut it a little too close...for me to do any prepping for this holiday ...but truthfully...none of them seem to matter too much anymore. The girls have their families...so they are ok.. as for us...we have had a couple of busy weeks...so we will catch up on some needed rest.

Keep watching over our immediate and extended family...as well as our dear friends...during this holy season. God bless you son.

I love you Sal...I miss you...and your are in my daily thoughts...and in my prayers...always.
March 20, 2016
Dear Son...Well Dad wasn't able to get to your resting place today...because the weather was lousy one minute..then slightly better the next...and then lousy again...so...he gave up...but he did make the braided palm crosses... that have become his yearly Lenten tradition...and one will be left for you...at the next visit.

I am hoping to get to visit you myself ...on Thursday...the 24th. We shall see...since my knee at the moment...is a little unpredictable...and I'm not past the discomfort...that I am told will taper off...by the third post op week.

I wish you a Blessed Palm Sunday...and hopefully you are in the company...of all of our loved ones...who have also been called back home by God.

As always...keep watching over your sisters...their families...and your brother.

I love you Salvatore...I miss you... and you are in my thoughts...and in my prayers...always.
March 19, 2016
To My Dear Salvatore JOSEPH...First... on this Feast Day of St. Joseph...your patron saint...I want to wish you...a very blessed name day.

Dad went to the mass...being offered today in his honor. I would have gone too...but I finally did...what you questioned me about...the last time I saw you...so I am currently housebound and recuperating...from my March 7th...total right knee replacement surgery.

I procrastinated about this for a very long time...and for various reasons... but not being able to walk the path to your resting place...was the final straw...and so...I am now looking at several weeks of physical therapy... and hopefully when it's over...I will once again...be able to continue with our Tuesday...and weekend visits.

The therapist said I have to start taking walks...so I thought tomorrow being Palm Sunday...I would start by visiting you...but I think the weatherman is calling for rain and some snow...so I may have to ask Dad...weather permitting for him...to visit you...and to leave a palm cross...in your vase.

I miss you Sal...and all that your future may have held...and as I think...I then find myself wondering.. how do those two DB's...live with themselves...and the knowledge...of what they caused to happen...to you... and our family. I don't know...maybe they are among those without a conscience.

I love you son...and I ask that you keep watch over our family.

God bless you...as I hold you close... in my thoughts...and in my prayers... always.
March 04, 2016

Dear Sal...This morning we went to the First Friday 8:15 mass...that was said in your memory. The reason being... the original date for this mass had us snowed in...due to the awful blizzard conditions...we were having on Jan. 24 ...so that made it impossible for us.. to get out of our street...to attend the mass...I had already scheduled... to mark the Ten Year Remembrance Day.. of your loss to us.

Fr. P said he would still say the mass on the 24th...since he could walk down from the rectory...to the Church...but because we wouldn't be able to get to the Church...he offered to reschedule another mass for you...that we would then be able to attend. It was very kind of him to make that offer. I had forgotten that throughout the school year...the students attend a monthly mass...on the first Friday...of each month...and today was the day...and this was the mass he set aside for you.

An eighth grade girl...was able to do ...what deacons and priests...so often overlook...and that is...to announce the name of the person...for whom the mass is being offered. She was loud and clear in reading your name...and you know...my thoughts on that.

The children went on to say...the prayers of the mass...and to sing the hymns...some of which were in Latin... and their young voices...were so very heartwarming to hear.

Dad remembered all the Latin prayers and responses...from his days as an altar boy...so I'm sure that resonated with him...and it made this mass for you...very very special. I remember the words to the Latin hymns as well...so it was also reflective...of our own youth... when the Mass was only said in Latin ...and he and I...were like these children...and attending our own St. Joseph...First Friday school mass.

There was a Benediction too...and it is amazing...how the words to the Latin hymns...without having to read them...do come back to you. I am grateful that Fr. P made this very thoughtful offer...and that we were able to be there...in your memory. I love you son...and I miss you.

Today is also Ryan's birthday...so this rescheduled mass date...as far as I'm concerned...was no coincidence...but then again...that's me... and you know...I am a believer.

God bless you Sal...as you keep close watch over your sisters...their families...and your brother.

You are in my thoughts...and in my prayers...always.
February 24, 2016
Dear Son...Today marks the 10 Years and 1 Month Remembrance Day...and Dad and I attended the Noon mass...that was being offered in your name...which was at least printed in the bulletin. As usual...your name was not read aloud at the mass...and although I try to chalk it up...it still offends me. I guess I'm a stickler...about prayer and where two or more are gathered in His name.

Because the weather was and still is awful...I did not visit your resting place after church...but I did leave a flower there yesterday...when I visited you...on our 526th Tuesday... and today...on this 121st Month...I placed another flower...in your memory ...at the St. Joseph statue...as I continue to count the days...and mark the time.

Two Friday's ago...we were in NY...for the funeral of a dear friend's mother. She was one of the last links...at 100 years of age...to the memories we all shared...while being raised in a NY neighborhood...where people had the same values and traditions...and all knew each other...when they were all young...newly married and raising their own families...in the 30's and 40's. We didn't just become lifelong friends and neighbors...we became each other's...extended family...and we all remain close...to the generations of offspring...that they began. She will not be forgotten by me...and I pray that she will rest in peace.

On the ride to NY...we got a phone call from a WUSA TV 9 reporter...who had covered what happened to you and our family...in the aftermath of our civil case. She pointed out...that since the Ad Hoc Commission...had ended in October...there still wasn't any information...from the Board of Supervisors...or the FCPD...regarding which, if not all...of the recommendations made in the PERF Report...and by the Ad Hoc sub-committees...may have been adopted and implemented by the PD. In light of that...she wanted to know if we knew anything...and what our thoughts and feelings were...on this matter. Since we were driving...Dad said he'd call her back...after we reached our destination...and was able to collect his thoughts.

These many years later...and it continues to be for them...as far as we know...an unresolved issue...at least when it comes to oversight. As for the other considerations...who knows...what they will be willing to do...but in my opinion...if there isn't any transparency...with regard to what may have been implemented ...into their policies and protocols.. I doubt seriously...if the trust they were seeking from County citizens... will be restored any time soon.

In 2013...another unarmed man...was also unjustifiably shot and killed ...by a FCPD Officer...but this time.. the outrage from residents...was duly noted...by the Fairfax Board of Supervisors...and Chairman Bulova... unlike her predecessor...did something ...and on Feb. 20, 2015...she created an Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission. It was established on March 3, 2015...to review the Fairfax County Police Department's policies and practices.

It was comprised of Members, Speakers & Presenters.
All the members were appointed and included:
Citizens...Police...Legal...Academic/Consultant...Media/PR...County Staff/ Ex-Officio...and the Speakers and Presenters.

It had Five Sub-committees:
Use of Force...Communications...Mental Health /Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)... Recruitment, Diversity and Vetting... and Independent Oversight and Investigations.

Dad was an appointed member and served on the Use of Force...and Independent Oversight and Investigations sub-committees...from March to October 2015...when it ended.

As for the reporter...I don't know exactly what Dad said to her...when he called her back..because he called when I wasn't there.

At the meetings...that I also attended ...he made several recommendations stemming from our tragedy...and they concerned...the use of SWAT teams for routine police work....weighing the risk assessments...defining more precisely...terms like ready gun and what it meant or should mean...the rethinking of when an officer should be pointing a weapon at someone's center mass...or NOT...when the word Police should be announced...and other matters that pertained to the needed changes to some of their policies...protocols...and...procedures that had cost you and us...the most unforgivable, tragic, unjustifiable and devastating loss.

It will never end for us. There will always be...that random robo call...to our number...asking for a donation to the police...or another unjustifiable shooting...being reported on the news or a protest over the loss of a life.. or even which lives matter...when they all do...and on and on...and for me... each time will take me back...to that very night...and that knock on our door.

We never got the justice I was seeking ...in your behalf...and so my promise to you goes unfulfilled...and the fault is mine...for caving.

I love you Sal...and I miss you...and I think of you throughout each and every day.

Keep watching over your sisters...your nieces...your nephews...and your brother.

You are in my prayers...always.

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