A major piece of local military history is now on display at the Italian American Veterans Museum in Stone Park thanks to the dedication and generosity of the Far South Side Italian-American community.
A massive bronze plaque honoring scores of World War II veterans was donated to the museum at a ceremony in late October at Carlo Lorenzetti’s in Chicago hosted by the Spaghetti-Os.
There to accept the donation were IAVM board members Paul Basile, Steve Corbo and Mark DiSanto.
The plaque was commissioned by Società Filarmonica Bella Italia and contains the names of 125 mostly Italian-American veterans. It had languished in the garage of a Far South Side printer until 2014, when it was discovered by local historian Tom Shepherd and his friend Don Bovino.
Shepherd oversaw the plaque’s restoration and then worked with the Spaghetti-Os to host the presentation ceremony.
Word was spread by Fra Noi columnist CJ Martello, yielding more than 140 attendees, many of whom were family members of the men listed on the plaque.
The guest of honor was Peter Roy, whose name is emblazoned in bronze on the plaque. “All these guys are gone,” Roy wistfully noted. “A plaque that big, with that many names.”
And now they’ll be forever memorialized at the Italian American Veterans Museum. (iavmuseum.org)