Joseph Tollis, born Giuseppe Guido Tollis on November 19, 1921, was from Pacentro, L’Aquila, Abruzzo. He came to the United States in June 1937 to join his father, Pasquale Tollis, in Detroit, leaving his mother and three siblings behind. Upon turning 21, he was drafted into the army and selected to serve as an Italian interpreter when he was in ba...

It is the smallest among the 40 U.S Army cemeteries, but its significance looms large in the history of Fort Drum and the North Country. Members of the Fort Drum community gathered at the POW (Prisoners of War) Cemetery on Nov. 4 to place a wreath at the grave of Pvt. Rino Carlutti, an Italian service member and World War II veteran. Carlutti was b...

James Vincent Clemente was born on February 26, 1920 in Akron, Ohio, to Francesco and Vita Clemente in the all-Italian neighborhood of North Hill. He grew up there until graduating from North High School. Before going off to serve, he got married and had a son. He was inducted into the service in the U.S. Army Air Corps on March 9, 1942. He served...

Even before he watched American soldiers drive the Nazis from his Italian village, Rocco Blasi dreamed of living in the United States. "It was something I wanted so badly. It becomes so much a part of you," remembers Blasi, who made good on his dreams by becoming a member of the U.S. Army, a college professor, a founder and early president of the A...

November is dedicated to the men and women of the armed services who have played a role in protecting our nation and safeguarding its future. On Memorial Day, we remember all of those service members who gave their lives for our country. On Veterans Day, we honor all those who served in any capacity. All veterans have stories about their time in se...

Felice John Tulli, 96, named after his paternal grandfather but known as John, was born Feb. 3, 1924 to Italian immigrant parents. He was raised in Harlem with his brothers, Ed, Hugo, Danny and his sister, Ida, now all deceased. Tulli never completed high school and as the story goes he lied about his age in order to enlist in the US Army during Wo...

Marino de Medici was 11 in the summer of 1944 when he was strafed by a World War II U.S fighter as he rode his bike along a country road on his way to school. He and his family were subsequently driven from their home on the Adriatic Coast on a farm near Montefiore Conca in the Romagna region in search of someplace safe from German soldiers and bom...

Lou “Red” Vigliotti served in World War II from 1941 to 1945 and fought in the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign in the jungles of Philippines. While there, he contracted malaria, but his service did not waiver and he continued to fight for his country.  In addition to various honors and medals, he was awarded the prestigious Bronze Star for his heroism and...

Guy Cardarelli and his twin sister, Judy Ann, were born in Chicago in 1935 to Guido and Marie Mele Cardarelli. They lived behind the family grocery store/meat market on 5th Street and Kedzie Avenue. Cardarelli’s father immigrated from Morrovalle, Italy, and his mother’s family from Castelvetere in Campania. His father passed away shortly before Car...

Joseph Guagenti, a longtime Howard Beach resident and decorated World War II veteran, was laid to rest last Friday. He was 94 and suffered briefly from what his family believes was the COVID-19 virus before passing away at his home on April 26. “He was funny, caring, kind, giving and a second dad to his three granddaughters. Our true hero,” his gra...