John Patrick Burke
Award: Veterans' Hall of Fame
Inductee was nominated by Former Senator Caesar Trunzo
John Patrick Burke is deserving of a place among New York State’s elite veterans for his battlefield gallantry during WW II and his tireless quest as a civilian to ensure that veterans are never forgotten.
Mr. Burke was among the first U.S. troops to land on the Island of Attu, Alaska to repel the only invasion of U.S. Territory during World War II. It was the first American amphibious landing of the war. The terrain and weather were treacherous and the ensuing fighting bitter. The members of Mr. Burke’s 7th Infantry Division suffered the highest casualty rate of any military unit in American history.
But in his eyes, Mr. Burke’s greatest accomplishment was achieved after the war. In his own words, Mr. Burke said he feels the greatest thing he has done in his life is to work to establish lasting memorials to the brave men and women who courageously serve their country as members of the armed forces.
Mr. Burke led the effort to create a memorial at Sayville V.F.W. Post #433, in tribute to all those who paid the supreme sacrifice during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Mr. Burke further worked to provide appropriate recognition of the sacrifice of America’s soldiers by designing and installing a lasting tribute in honor of the troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.