On Thursday 20th April 2017, Armando ‘Chick’ Galella received both a standing ovation and Westchester’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. The ceremony was held during Executive Rob Astorino’s State of the County address.
This WWII veteran was stationed at Pearl Harbor when the base was hammered by the surprise Japanese attack on the 7th December 1941, killing 2,403 people.
In an interview with Westchester’s News 12, Galella, then an Army private, recounted how he had just settled down to enjoy his breakfast when he heard the planes and seeing the red circles he knew they were under attack.
Galella has converted his dining room into a memory room. The walls and table tops are all covered in memorabilia and keepsakes from his life. This humble man was proud to accept the honors bestowed upon him but said that he was no hero and that there were other people more deserving of the honor than himself.
As an example, he pointed to a photograph of John Horan, a hero who died at Pearl Harbor, and who grew up just down the street from Chick’s house in Sleepy Hollow, News12 Westchester reported.
Recently, some 61 years after his service in WWII, Chick was awarded the Bronze Star by Congresswoman Nita Lowey. At age 96, Chick is still determined that people not forget the sacrifices made by the greatest generation and will do anything to ensure that does not happen again.
This softly spoken gentleman is the epitome of everything that is good of his generation; they stood up when they were asked to, and they laid down their lives to ensure freedom for everyone else. It is not surprising that he will do anything to ensure that the stories of WWII and the people that created those stories are not forgotten.