Veteran’s Day at Peace Plaza

Veteran’s Day at Peace Plaza

By Robert Press

It was a beautiful Thursday afternoon at Peace Plaza located on Williamsbridge Road and Pelham Parkway North. Veterans Gene DeFrancis and Joseph Rondo were the co-hosts of this event. Gene De Francis mentioned that on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 a treaty was signed that ended what was known as World War One. That day was known as Armistice Day until 1954 when it was changed to Veterans Day to honor those who served in all wars the United States became involved in. This was a day to honor veterans who have returned home alive, while Memorial Day is for those who have lost their lives in battle. 

Several veterans were called up to say a few words to the usual crowd of close to one hundred people. Councilman Mark Gjonaj was the first elected official called up, and he deferred to the elder, and statewide elected official Assemblyman Michael Benedetto who said that each year the crowd seems to get a little smaller, and he could not understand that since there were more and more veterans each year. Councilman Gjonaj thanked Mr. Silvio Mazzella the organizer of the Veterans day and Memorial Day event at Peace Plaza. Gjonaj thanked Silvio’s wife for attending in his place. 


Veteran Gene DeFrancis opened the 2021 Peace Plaza Veterans Day event, and turned the microphone over to Veteran Joseph Rondo.

Deputy Inspector Andrew Natiw said that while he has faced many different battle like scenes as a veteran police officer, that he never served in the Armed Forces, and he salutes those who have served. 

Assemblyman Michael Benedetto thanked the veterans and those who attended this event, but wondered with more veterans coming out of the Armed Forces, why does this crowd get smaller each year that goes by.

Outgoing Councilman Mark Gjonaj thanked the organizer of the Veterans Day and Memorial Day events Mr. silvio Mazzella who has been unable to attend the past two event due to health problems. Gjonaj thanked Silvio’s wife for sitting in for him. 

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