Niagara Gazette

March 3, 2014

Niagara Falls veteran receives full honors at Arlington National Cemetery

by Mia Summerson ngedit@niagara-gazette.com
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — In life, Eugene Corsaro hoped to one day be buried at the Arlington National Cemetery. In death, the Marine and Army Reserve veteran of the Korean War got exactly what he wanted.

Not anyone can be buried in the Arlington National Cemetery. You must have served in the military during wartime, and your rank is heavily considered. Corsaro, a Niagara Falls native, spent four years in the Marines, and then 35 years in the Army Reserve.

When he retired, it was as lieutenant colonel. When he passed away on Nov. 1 at age 80, he was given an honor worthy of his rank.

“He was a military man,” said widow Geraldine Corsaro. “He loved the military life for personal reasons, he didn’t make a career of it. Being buried at Arlington National Cemetery was his only request.”

Geraldine said that the staff at Colucci Funeral Home on Military Road helped to make the arrangements to help grant Eugene’s wish.

Members of Eugene’s family, including Geraldine and their son Tony, accompanied him on his journey to his final resting place. His burial in Arlington included full military honors, including a 21-gun salute, the presence of color guards and the traditional “Taps” performance.

“It was moving,” Tony said of the ceremony. “We’re very proud of him for serving his country. Everyone who serves should have the opportunity to be buried (at the Arlington National Cemetery), but it’s not possible. It’s such an honor.”

Eugene passed on as the result of many health complications. His family members say they are happy that he was laid to rest with the honors that he duly deserved.

He’s at peace there now,” Geraldine said. “I just want to let him know he got his wish.”