HARRISON, N.Y. - Friday morning's Veterans Day Parade received heavy praise and enthusiasm from the crowds of Harrison residents who attended. Seemingly all of that praise went to Veterans Service Officer Ben DeFonce, who organized the parade.
"I just try to make the people get out and be together," DeFone said. "I want to make sure they never forget."
The parade was scheduled for Friday at 10 a.m. All veterans were invited to march in the event.
DeFonce enlisted with the Marines in 1949 and served in the Korean War as a corporal, being wounded three times. All these years later as Veterans Services Officer, he led the Veterans Day ceremony and honored several local heroes.
"It was a good ceremony," DeFonce said. "There were a lot of people here to support us and respect us and they're all thankful for our service. We're happy that they're here to support us."
Those in attendance included Harrison Mayor and Supervisor Joan Walsh, General Evo Riguzzi of the U.S. Army, and several local heroes. Other honored guests include John Zilembo, commander of VFW Post 5463, Richard Bertoli, commander of VFW Post 3047, and Joe Mazzulo of the American Legion Carle Anderson 559.
The ceremony was filled with decorated Marines, many of them Harrison residents. DeFonce said he was thrilled to have them be a part of the festivities alongside the many local war heroes, citing the support they have shown to Harrison.
"I'm just happy to see everyone here. They respect me and I respect them," DeFonce said. "This is a great town we have here. I was born and raised here and I'm just happy to be able to do this for everyone."
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