Niagara Gazette

Local News

November 9, 2013

Veterans' dream becomes a reality in the Falls

After years of work, veterans' dream becomes a reality

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette —

“It was a bunch of guys who got together and said ‘we are going to build this thing,’” Fabrizio said.

“None of us thought we’d end up going into the construction and development business,” he added with a laugh.

In May of 2010, the city council authorized the use of $500,000 in casino revenue to support the project. A year later, former state Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte sponsored a $250,000 grant to help build the memorial. Her successor, current state Assemblyman John Ceretto, helped secure the dollars for the effort in April of 2012, according to the commission.

Fundraising, design and construction took several years. It also came with significant contributions from local labor organizations and businesses as well as dozens of individuals who donated time, money or services to the cause.

“Everybody has a father, an uncle, a grandfather, a son that served in the military,” Hamilton said. “I think it might be a way for them to give back to those who served.”

And give they did, again and again. Shipments of stone, pieces of equipment and manpower arrived whenever needed, often free of charge, thanks to a myriad of advisors and supporters, including: Clyde Johnston and the Niagara County Building Trades Council; the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 237; LaFarge Co.; Buffalo Fuel Corp.; Fox Fence Co.; Mark Cerrone Construction; McGill Construction Co.; Scott Lawn Co.; Stone Art Monument Co.; Laborers Local 91; Clark Equipment and Rigging and the city of Niagara Falls police, fire and public works departments and others that commissioners said will later be announced.

“There’s a lot, a lot of work that’s been done behind the scenes,” Fabrizio said.

There’s some still going on as well. The New York Power Authority, after prodding from state Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, and consultation with President and CEO Gil Quiniones, agreed to supply and install the ground lighting system for the memorial.

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