State Senator Owen H. Johnson (4th Senate District, Babylon) was recently on hand for the Anthony Casamento Medal of Honor Exhibit Opening at the West Islip Public Library. The exhibit features Corporal Casamento’s Medal of Honor and other related memorabilia thanks to the generosity of his daughter, Mary Casamento of California. Ms. Casamento and other members of her family traveled to West Islip to be at the ceremony commemorating the opening of the exhibit.
In 1980, Anthony Casamento was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Jimmy Carter -- 38 years after the West Islip resident’s heroism on Guadalcanal as a corporal in the Marine Corps in 1942. The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States. Casamento, who died in 1987 , also earned the Purple Heart, the World War II Victory Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Medal with two bronze stars, the Presidential Unity Citation and the American Defense Medal.
In 2005, Senator Johnson named Casamento as the 4th Senate District’s first inductee into the New York State Senate’s Online Veterans Hall of Fame. In 2005, he presented the plaque to the Anthony Casamento Post of the Italian American War Veterans. At the exhibit's opening, Senator Johnson had the honor of presenting another plaque to Casamento’s daughter, Mary.
"I am so pleased that this exhibit is on display at the West Islip Public Library so that residents who may not know of the tremendous service and sacrifices made by this West Islip native may be educated," said Senator Johnson. "Anthony Casamento was an incredible person and patriot. When we created the Senate’s Online Veterans Hall of Fame in 2005, Anthony Casamento was the first name that came to my mind. It is real honor to be able to personally present this plaque to his family."
Those interested in learning more about Anthony Casamento should visit the West Islip Library’s exhibit and view his biography on the Senate’s Online Veterans Hall of Fame. Those interested can link directly to the Senate Online Veterans Hall of Fame from Senator Johnson’s website at www.senatorowenjohnson.net.