Bishop Joaquin Pena proudly remembers the revival service that drew 500 Hispanics downtown for a night of music and prayer. He saw the large turnout -- double that of previous years -- as a sign of growing solidarity within the ethnic community.
So when police broke up the Aug. 24 ceremony, ticketing Pena for alleged loud music and disorderly conduct, he thought that it was discrimination.
The former television evangelist from Puerto Rico, who was due in court today, says his protest, which has rallied a fast-growing minority group, will continue unless the charges are dropped. The bishop wants a federal probe and the suspension of the arresting officers.
Police say they acted after receiving several complaints of noise. Pena insists that the service was quieter than a concert on the riverbank that night.
The bishop, who has served as a liaison to the mayor's office in Buffalo and the governor's office in Puerto Rico, has been enlisting Hispanics to his cause ever since.
"We don't want any more rights than anybody, just equality," he said.
Giuliani takes time to honor
promise to officer's bride
NEW YORK (AP) -- With all that has happened in this city in the last week, Diane Gorumba's family did not expect Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani to keep his promise to walk her down the aisle.
But Giuliani kept his word Sunday, escorting the beaming bride and relishing an opportunity to put aside last week's World Trade Center horror, if only for a while.
The 23-year-old Brooklyn bride had asked the mayor to give her away after her firefighter brother, Michael Gorumba, who was supposed to give her away, died Aug. 28 while fighting a three-alarm fire on Staten Island. Her father and grandfather died a year ago.
"We will go on. This proves it right here. The mayor came here -- he thought about us," the newlywed said as she got into a limousine with her husband, Michael Ferrito, a police officer.
Giuliani, who has been working around the clock since last Tuesday, said the wedding meant a great deal to him.
"It felt wonderful to be part of this," the mayor said. "This is what life is all about. You have to go on and take advantage of the good things in life."
Many at weapons fair
were looking for U.S. flags
SARATOGA SPRINGS (AP) -- The most popular sales item at a gun show here over the weekend wasn't a gun at all.
It was the American flag.
Many people who came to the New East Coast Arms Collectors Associates 47th arms fair, held Friday through Sunday 28 miles north of Albany, were simply looking for American flags, said organizer Cathy Petronis.
Petronis and her husband, David, have sponsored three gun shows each year at Saratoga Springs City Center since 1984. They considered canceling but decided against it.
"The terrorists are trying to change Americans' lives and how free they are," Cathy Petronis told the Saratogian newspaper. "Everyone here is grieving together and supporting one another. We're doing anything we can to show the solidarity of the country."
Petronis said gun dealers nationwide reported high gun sales last week, following Tuesday's terrorist attacks. However, she said, turnout was lower than usual at her show, where a memorial display included three large American flags and a yellow ribbon.
"After the grieving, hurting and disbelief, the business will go crazy," said Mike Petrozello, owner of Shooting Gallery Books in Ballston Lake, 12 miles south. "People are going to come buy guns, and they're going to buy lots of them. I'm a Catholic, and I have one prayer: 'Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.' "