A grassroots effort is underway the rename Columbus Park “Buffalo Medal of Honor Park.” To that end, a petition has been launched by Joe Sedita, a prominent member of the Western New York legal community, who feels that it is only natural to identify a suitable replacement that honors an esteemed member of Buffalo’s Italian-American community – Buffalo-born Marine Sergeant John Basilone. Along with Basilone, the honorable memories of fellow Medal of Honor recipients will also be revered.
“The park would commemorate one of the most decorated servicemen of World War II, John Basilone, a hero to our community and our country,” Sedita said. “By renaming Columbus Park, Buffalo Medal of Honor Park, and gracing it with a statue of John Basilone, our community can continue to celebrate pride in our country and inspire generations to come with the meaning of true heroism.”
Sedita believes the initiative would create a place to recognize the striving patriotism and ultimate triumph of millions of immigrants from around the globe who became Americans since the late 19th century.
Earlier in July, the statue of Columbus was removed from the West Side park, located in close proximity to the Peace Bridge. After strong consideration, Sedita, along with other ardent supporters, felt that the likeness of Sgt. Basilone, who was the recipient of the Medal of Honor (WWII in 1942) and the Navy Cross, would be a fitting tribute figurehead for the park, the Buffalo immigrant community, and patriotic war heroes that sacrificed their lives for their love of country.