I am so very proud of my city. Reflections on this day.

October 25, 2017

Written By

Mary Friona Celani

Buffalo came calling today.

There was a need, a real desire for unity. And it came.  We saw it during the search for Officer Craig Lehner. So many prayed for a miracle. So many hoped. That wouldn’t be the case, but the praying never stopped. Once they found the 34-year-old, it was a collective heartbreak and a collective resolve.

We stick together. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  We stick together. It’s in our DNA.

I’ve never been more proud of my neighbors.  The ones who sold blue pumpkins. Or made special shirts. The ones who stood along that procession route during the pouring rain. Or made their way into Key Bank Center for a memorial of a man they didn’t know.

That’s something special.


I don’t think they do that in other cities.

Maybe I’m wrong.

I’ve talked to many first responders today. Friends. Neighbors. They all say the same thing; they know their job is dangerous but they do it for all the right reasons. They do it for us. I’ve never felt more grateful for that. 

I watched the local reporters covering the service. I know that is not easy to do – but, they brought their A game. All of them.


I read countless articles by this Buffalo News reporters  – all so heartfelt and wonderful. And I must have looked at hundreds if not thousands of photos, Facebook posts and tweets. All so sweet. So kind. So poignant. So Buffalo.

It’s been an emotional day and one that we won’t soon forget.  We learned about who Craig Lehner was today. What he stood for. And it was remarkable.

Buffalo is an amazing place to live and raise a family.


This is my home and I have never been more proud to say that.



About Me

Welcome to Totally Buffalo! My name is Mary Friona-Celani and I am the creator of this site! After spending 20 years in the Buffalo media, I moved on to focus on my beautiful family. Now, the time has come for a new project. I was ready for something new. Something mine.
I am born and raised in WNY and my pride runs deep. My husband, Scott and I are very happy to be raising our four daughters here.





1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Mary, I agree with you on all points.. The arena had a special silence, and then to see all the people line the streets, all the way to Forest Lawn… Nothing less then INCREDIBLE!!! Fabulous planning, perfect in every way… Thank you Buffalo PD, and the guards who stood vigils outside the funeral home… This man, who most of us had never met was the reason, for all the love, caring, tears, and unity… Even in death, he was a great source of giving … God Bless You , Officer Lehner… Eternal light shine upon you.

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