Vets named marshals for Honor America Days parade

HONOR AMERICA MARSHALS — The Honor America Days Committee announced grand marshals for the annual parade to be held Saturday, July 28, Pearl Harbor hero Sylvester Puccio, left, and retired Air Force Master Sgt. Ismael Ramos. (Sentinel photo by John Clifford)

Veterans of World War II and Vietnam have been named grand marshals of the parade the kicks off this summer’s Honor America Days.

Sylvester Puccio, who served in the Navy, and Ismael Ramos, who was in the Air Force, were introduced this morning as grand marshals of the July 28 parade that begins the 29th annual celebration of civic pride and patriotism. The day will end with the traditional concert on the lawn at Fort Stanwix National Monument followed by a fireworks display.

The parade and concert by Symphony Syracuse Orchestra are followed by a host of events and activities over several weeks organized by the Honor America Days Committee of the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce. This year’s theme is "Saluting the 1970s."

Puccio was assigned to the USS West Virginia in 1940 and was stationed at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked by the Japanese the following year. He is credited with playing a key role in saving his ship from capsizing and the lives of many men. He was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Valor in February of this year.

He recently returned from an 11-day trip to Hawaii sponsored by the Historic Navy League. He was recognized during the National Navy Convention for his "Act of Valor" nearly 71 years ago. He was a chief petty officer when he left the Navy in 1947.

Ramos, a retired Air Force master sergeant, was in the military during Korea and Vietnam. He received numerous awards, citations and commendations, including the Meritorious Service Medal Vietnam Service Medal. He was awarded the Purple Heart.

Symphony Syracuse, under the direction of Lou Lemos, will be accompanied by the Syracuse Pops Chorus. The musical program includes "National Emblem March," "Battle Hymn of the Republic," "Victory at Sea" and "Armed Forces Salute."