On Wednesday, May 23rd, I had the privilege to honor the Fedele family as recipients of the 2012 New York State Veterans Hall of Fame. It was a privilege to nominate this well-deserving family for their courage, bravery, and sacrifice for our Country. Thank you to the Fedele family and to all of those who have serve, and continue to serve for our Country.
The Fedele family, like millions of other American families, responded to their country’s needs during World War II. Except that, unlike every other family, the Fedeles sent eight brothers off to war. This was the record for the most men from one family to serve in a foreign war at the same time.
The brothers, ranging in age from 17 to 37, served in nearly every branch of the armed forces: Army, Navy, Marines and Air Corps. They served in Africa, Europe and the Pacific. For their service, they won many ribbons, citations and medals including a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. One brother was at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked; and oddly, a few of the brothers ran into each other during the war. One pair met in Africa and the other pair on Iwo Jima. Remarkably, all of the brothers returned home alive and well; although, one was wounded by machine-gun fire on Okinawa and another one suffered injury in an airplane crash during training.
While eight sons of Philip and Angelina Fedele left home to serve their country, two others worked defense related jobs. The youngest, only 14 at the time, later served in the Korean War along with two of his older World War II brothers.