Veteran was ex-POW, Charter Member of Veterans Advisory Board.
Huntington Station, NY - December 3, 2018 - Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci, Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, Highway Superintendent Kevin S. Orelli, Suffolk County Legislators Dr. William Spencer and Tom Donnelly, Veterans Advisory Board members, local veterans groups, family and friends gathered Saturday, November 24, on Thanksgiving weekend for a ceremony dedicating McKay Road as SSgt. USAF Michael J. Colamonico Way.
“Staff Sergeant Michael J. Colamonico, U.S. Air Force, was involved with many major veterans’ projects including an event on the Intrepid where he filled the ship with hundreds of World War II veterans who were honored with medals they never received after the war. He mentored young veterans who needed guidance and advice and had a close relationship with the VA Hospital in Northport,” said Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci. “Mr. Colamonico lived here on McKay Road in Huntington Station for all his married life with his wife Lorraine until he passed away a few years ago. To the Colamonico family, the Town and the country are grateful to your husband, father and grandfather for his service to this nation – in uniform and in his passionate advocacy for active military and veterans.”
“You would have never known all the trauma and sacrifice that SSGT USAF Michael Colamonico went through as a prisoner of war. He always had a smile on his face and a pleasant word for everyone in his life, I am fortunate to have known him,” said Councilman Mark Cuthbertson.
In attendance for the ceremony included former Town Supervisor Toni Rettaliata-Tepe, who created the Town’s Veterans Advisory Board; members of the Greenlawn American Legion #1244 and the Greenlawn American Legion #1244 Riders; Northport American Legion #694; Huntington American Legion #360; Elwood/Commack VFW #9263; Nathan Hale VFW #1469; Combat Infantrymen’s’ Association; Disabled American Veterans (DAV).
SSgt. Michael J. Colamonico's grandchildren recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Linda Catania, a good friend to the Town and the Veterans Advisory Board, performed the National Anthem.
Legislator Dr. William Spencer, Captain Michelle Mudge, U.S. Army Aviation Pilot, Military Intelligence Battalion, also delivered remarks, along with SSgt. Colamonico's grandson, Francis Fanzilli, and son, Michael Colamonico.
Father Michael Bissex of St. Patrick's Church in Huntington also spoke and performed a blessing of the street sign bearing SSgt. Colamonico’s name before the unveiling.
Mrs. Lorraine Colamonico, SSgt. Colamonico's widow, was asked by Supervisor Lupinacci to do the honors of the unveiling surrounded by family, friends and elected officials.
Staff Sergeant Michael J. Colamonico served his country in the United States Air Force during World War II, and at the end of a 13-hour bombing run, a German Messerschmidt fighter plane shot down the B-17 bomber on which he was a top turret gunner, over France on December 31st, 1943. SSgt. Colamonico was held prisoner at the infamous Stalag 17 in Austria where he spent 17 months in captivity, and was finally liberated on May 3rd, 1945, in Braunau, Germany.
Colamonico dedicated his life to his family and veterans affairs issues as an advocate for active military and veterans. Colamonico was an original member of the Huntington Veterans Advisory Board, whose current members requested the street be dedicated in his name.
At its July 17 meeting, the Town Board dedicated McKay Road in Huntington Station as SSgt. USAF Michael J. Colamonico Way.