David Bellavia Speaks of Honor and Service in Niagara Falls

Presented with key to city by Mayor Dyster

Tim Wenger
October 12, 2019 - 8:11 pm

WBEN Photo/Tim Wenger

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Niagara Falls (WBEN) - The crowd quietly filled the picturesque Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls Saturday afternoon in anticipation of hearing the first major address in Western New York by Medal of Honor recipient David Bellavia. 

Seats in the venue were filled one by one with veterans, citizens and many of those who donated to a fund that allowed many of Bellavia's fellow infantrymen and Gold Star families to be in Washignton for his June honor at the Pentagon and White House.

During the two hour session, Bellavia was presented with the key to the city by Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.  Dyster noted this may be his final key to the city presentation in his final term in office and said, "I have never been prouder ever in my life as Mayor to present the key to the city than now, God bless you David".

In his passionate and emotional address to the attentive crowd Saturday, Bellavia talked about the perseverence of the United States Army and military in general, saying, "as long as recruiting stations are open, we are going to be ok".  Bellavia said the strength of the military rests on a pillar of love, not hate.  "Love, not hate, is what makes American soldiers the most tenacious in the world", said Bellavia.

Bellavia was thankful for the honors and accolades about his service in the Iraq War but noted that what those in the military do after their service can be even more impactful.  "I've found that the work we do when we get home is far more important than anything we do in uniform", said Bellavia.

In thanking all who donated to the GoFundMe account that enabled his fellow soldiers to attend his Medal of Honor ceremonies and be on stage with President Trump in the White House, Bellavia announced his new chairtable fund called the "Deuce Deuce Relief Fund".  The new fund will be used to assist those in need who served in the Army's 2-2 Infrantry along with Bellavia. 

In a question and answer session that followed his formal remarks, Bellavia repsonded to continued calls for him to run for public office.  As he has stated in recent days, he will serve his country in the best way he can and right now that service is to the US Army.  Bellavia added he will not let announcing his decision on whether he'll run or not linger much longer.

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