Fred Santoro isn’t much for the limelight, but yesterday, at Verona’s Memorial Day commemoration, he got some of the recognition he richly deserves. Santoro, who served in the New Jersey National Guard and the Verona Rescue Squad was among the veterans living and dead who were honored by the town.
In his dedication, Rabbi Aaron Kriegel of Congregation Beth Ahm had this to say of Santoro:
“Fred Santoro, one of the military we honor today, was a full time soldier for forty-two years and when he retired he for a second time became a hero of this town. How many lives has he saved while serving on our Rescue Squad? For forty-two years he was prepared to offer his life for these United States, for his neighbors and for his family. For all of his adult life he has served us.
Rabbi Kriegel and Father Mike Hanly of Our Lady of the Lake, who gave the invocation, both reminded the crowd that honoring the sacrifices made by veterans demands more from us than just one hour once a year. “We can never thank them sufficiently for their sacrifice,” noted Rabbi Kriegel. “We can never praise them sufficiently for their final moments of devotion and sacrifice for us.”
Here are some images from the May 30, 2011 parade and ceremony.
Great day and it was wonderful to sell all honored. However I think it’s important to point out that Memorial Day is only intended to honor those that fell in battle. Veteran’s Day is for those that served honorably and Armed Forces Day is for those that currently serve. There are three distinct official days, Verona has kind of mashed them up together.