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Tag Archives: Italian American Veterans Museum

Renato Bacci to preside over veterans museum

Retired Army Col. Renato Bacci has been elected by the board of directors to helm the Italian American Veterans Museum. Joining him as officers are retired Navy Commander Joseph Troiani as first vice president, retired Army Maj. Lorenzo Fiorentino as second vice president, Army veteran Mark DiSanto third vice president, Steve Corbo as treasurer, Eugene Giudice as parliamentarian and Paul Basile as corporate secretary and executive vice president. The officers were installed by community leader Joanne Spata. During his 30-year military career, Bacci served as an infantry, armor, and civil affairs officer, with tours of duty in Bosnia, Croatia, Germany, ...

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Veterans museum accepts donation of bronze plaque

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 ...

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Veterans museum pays tribute to Anthony Fornelli

The Italian American Veterans Museum presented founder and Chairman Anthony Fornelli with a Lifetime Achievement Award at a testimonial dinner on June 8 at the Donald E. Stevens Convention Center in Rosemont. During a career that has spanned more than six decades, Fornelli has served at various levels of government; presided over half a dozen non-profits; raised or donated millions of dollars for charity; and earned nearly a dozen local, national and international honors. The son of Gennaro, who hailed from Naples, and Madelyn, who “hailed from Calabria by way of Des Moines, Iowa,” Tony grew up on Chicago’s West ...

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Air Force vet offers rare insight into combat zone

On Monday, Nov. 9, U.S. Air Force veteran William “Billy” Castellano gave a riveting power point presentation of his time in the Middle East to a capacity crowd at the Italian American Veterans Museum. Billy told his story of how a boy from Galewood knew he wanted to follow in his family’s tradition of service to the United States military, joining the Air Force as a young man. As a member of the U.S. Air Force Security Forces, he was tasked with safeguarding nuclear weapons, codes and components. Deployed to the Middle East multiple times, he spent a year in ...

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Veteran’s museum welcomes new hero

The Italian American Veterans Museum in Stone Park has welcomed another hero into its ranks. Family and friends of the late Leon E. Roggi brought in photos and documents to be scanned and archived at the museum. Marine Pfc. Roggi earned a Silver Star during the battle to take the Marianas Islands during World War II. The first to take the high ground along the objective ridge, he captured a hostile machine-gun nest, directing fire against the enemy while severely wounded. “Leon never looked for recognition, but I felt it was important to honor his memory,” his wife Marina explained.

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Medal of Honor shines at veterans museum

The Italian American Veterans Museum took a quantum leap forward on Sept. 28, celebrating its grand reopening with the dedication of a new exhibit celebrating Italian-American Medal of Honor recipients. State Senator Don Harmon and Stone Park Mayor Ben Mazzulla were among the dignitaries who took part in the noon dedication ceremony, which was attended by nearly 200 well-wishers, including more than four dozen veterans. The United States Navy Band from the Great Lakes Naval Station and the Marine Color Guard from the 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment from Foster Avenue in Chicago graced the event with their presence. Joe and ...

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Italian American Veterans Museum
Grand Reopening

The Italian American Veterans Museum took a quantum leap forward on Sept. 28, celebrating its grand reopening with the dedication of a new exhibit celebrating Italian-American Medal of Honor recipients. State Senator Don Harmon and Melrose Park Mayor Ben Mazzulla were among the dignitaries who took part in the noon dedication ceremony, which was attended by nearly 200 well-wishers, including more than four dozen veterans. The United States Navy Band from the Great Lakes Naval Station and the Marine Color Guard from the 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment from Foster Avenue in Chicago graced the event with their presence. Joe ...

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70th Anniversary D-Day Commemoration

The Italian American Veterans Museum marked the 70th anniversary of D-Day with a stirring commemoration on June 6. Nearly two-dozen veterans attended the event, including three who participated in the D-Day invasion. The commemoration drew a capacity crowd and attracted the attention of CBS News. CBS reporter Mike Parker and cameraman Chris McKnight arrived two hours before the presentation to film the museum and interview veterans. Their coverage appeared on the 10 p.m. news. Click here to view the coverage: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/video/10243698-d-day-vets-honored-in-stone-park/ All the veterans in attendance were acknowledge by name at the start of the commemoration, after which they led ...

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Veterans Art Exhibit

On Nov. 10, the Italian-American Veterans Museum hosted an opening night event for a new temporary exhibit titled “Sacrifice, Courage and Art Unite Generations of Veterans.” Curated by Joe Fornelli, an acclaimed artist and Vietnam veteran, the show is a collaboration of works on loan from the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago. Featuring the works of 10 artists who are veterans of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, the exhibit is free and open to the public through the holidays. Artist Ronald Mann served in Vietnam as a door gunner from 1966 to 1967. His four original works on display are ...

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