Anchors aweigh at Buffalo Naval Park!

39th annual opening ceremony Saturday

March 25, 2018 - 7:18 am

Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - It may not feel like spring outside, but that's not holding back the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park, which held an opening day ceremony Saturday with a formal ribbon cutting and induction of two veterans to the "Wall of Honor".

On hand for the 39th annual opening ceremony were NYS Sen Tim Kennedy, NYS Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples Stokes, Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns, Park Board Chairman Don Alessi, CAPT Brian Roche USCG (ret), the Park’s executive Director, and Park Volunteers. 

Two Western New York Veterans were inducted to the Wall of Honor.  LtCol Frank Sparacino, US Army (ret) and LtCol Rebecca Sparacino US Army (ret) were recognized for protecting their country for a combined 52 years of military service.  Through their commitment, the freedom’s we cherish each day are ensured. 

  • Lt. Col. Frank Sparacino is a 31-year vet, enlisting in 1979, attending Officers Candidate School in 1982, and rising to the rank of Lt. Col. in 2002. He served in operations at the World Trade Center and Afghanistan, and has received a total of eight Meritorious, Commendation and Achievement Medals.
  • Lt. Col. Rebecca Sparacino is a 21-year vet, after being commission as a Second Lieutenant in 1983. Promoted to Lt. Col. in 2004 after a long career in the New York Army National Guard as a Medical Service Corps Office and the United States Army Reserve. She has received two Meritorious, three Commendation and several Achievement Medals.

Several new displays will be introduced over the next few months including a Maritime Simulator, the Salute to Veteran’s Exhibit, and a World War I Exhibit.  The season will also include several new events, including the remembrance of the Korean War Armistice and Ralph Wilson’s 100th Birthday Recognition October 17, 2018.  

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