A Forgotten Monument and the correction of 90 year old mistakes

Aug 15, 2016 836

by Laurence Pasquesi

Memorial Park is located on Laurel Ave. , about 1/4 mile east of the Highland Park Library. Near the bandstand, in the park, is a monument that has been forgotten in time. Along with many others, I never knew what this monument was. Upon inspection, I found out that it is a memorial to Highland Park residents, who wore the American uniform during World War 1. This monument honors 366 men and women, twelve of whom never came home. This monument was dedicated in 1926.

It was ethnic pride that I saw 15 Italian-American names with 12 coming from the Modena province. The twelve were: Enrico Bertucci, Giovanni Bertucci, Nino Biondi, Battista Carani, Amadio Minorini, Costantino Minorini, Giovanni Nizzi, John Pasquesi, Silvio Pasquesi, Enrico Piacenza, Enea Picchietti, Marco Ugolini. Upon further inspection, I realized that Costantino Minorini was shown as Minorino and Enrico Piacenza was shown as Piancecia.

I do not know about the heroics, which I am sure were many, of the other men and women, but it should be noted that Enrico Piacenza was wounded in battle and received the Purple Heart.

I visited the monument this week and I am happy to report that honor and recognition has been appropriately identified; the names have been corrected.

Thank you and appreciation to the following:
Sam Carani---It was Sam who told me about the monument-- 2 years ago.
John Pieracci---For telling me the story of his uncle Enrico Piacenza
Nancy Webster--Highland Park archivist who confirmed that the names were misspelled. She also worked with the local governmental agencies to obtain approval to make the changes to the monument.
Peter Troost Monument Co.--For their professionalism and courtesy
Thank you and appreciation to the following for their financial support.
Highland Park American Legion Post #145 ( Lawrence Sassorossi--Post Commander)
Modenese Society ( Carl Carani--President)
Maria Fontana Pasquesi
A vey special THANK YOU

To all those who served and did their duty

To the twelve from the Modenese province. They were a great example to their families, the Alto Frignano, their adopted home of Highland Park, and to the Modenese Society---all twelve were members.
To Costantino Minorini and Enrico Piacenza who finally received their recognition after 90 years.
The next time you are by the Highland Park Library, take a moment to pay tribute to these veterans.

Laurence Pasquesi

P.S. Please note, many other Italian-Americans wore the American uniform during World War 1, but this monument reflects only those from Highland Park.

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