SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. Sleepy Hollow resident and Pearl Harbor survivor Armando Chick Galella thought he was attending just another Memorial Day ceremony at the Sleepy Hollow Village Hall Firehouse. That was the only way Sleepy Hollow officials, community members and firefighters could get him to a ceremony honoring his service to the village.
There's this word 'hero' that gets bandied about all the time, Sleepy Hollow Mayor Ken Wray said Monday. "It gets overused, and it really shouldn't be because it means something. Chick is a hero.
Galella, 91, is a Bronze Star recipient and Sleepy Hollow native who was stationed at Hickam Field when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Ever since, Galella has devoted himself to the community by sharing his story and promoting citizenship throughout the area.
Galella was also instrumental in restoring a World War II memorial at the firehouse. That memorial honors firefighters who were on active military duty during their tenure.
The board over the years has shown its age, and with the efforts of one man and students in the Sleepy Hollow High School art department, the board was restored to its original form, Richard Gross said. Gross is the Department of Public Works general foreman and a former fire chief.
The restoration work also included the discovery of a name left off the memorial, Gross said. Galella's name, too, has been added to the wall through a special plaque commemorating his role in the restoration.
Wray thanked Galella for his work in helping to promote an understanding of the costs of war and the importance of being a good citizen and contributor to the community.
What we're honoring you for is not what you did in the military in your service, which we respect, Wray said. We're honoring you for what you've done here.
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