PROVIDENCE—Two local veterans were recognized and awarded numerous medals by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse Friday afternoon for their service during World War II; medals that were lost or never given after they were discharged.
Family and friends of Albert Blais and Angelo Padula Sr., gathered at the World War II Memorial Park in Providence to watch their loved ones receive five long overdue medals from the Senator.
“There are two holidays set aside each year to remember, honor and give thanks to our veterans,” said Michael Jolin, Veterans Affairs Coordinator for Whitehouse.
First, he explained, is Memorial Day, where people pay their respects to service members who have lost their lives. The second, is Veterans Day, “a day to give thanks to those who have asked, ‘what can I do for my country?’ and answered the call.”
Brigadier General Charles Petrarca from the Rhode Island National Guard explained to the crowd that World War II veterans have been named “America’s greatest generation.”
“They deserve our admiration and our gratitude, more now so than ever as we have fewer of these wonderful veterans to enjoy,” he said. “These heroes, and men like them, set the standards that effect our military still today.”
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