The first was lost, the second vandalized. Providence unveils 3rd monument to World War I soldier
By Amy Russo
via the Providence Journal newspaper (RI) web site
PROVIDENCE — "Hopefully the word 'finally' has come to pass, and we won’t be doing this again anytime soon," said Jeremiah O’Connor, as a new monument to his uncle, a fallen World War I soldier, was unveiled Friday.
It's the third time O'Connor's family has tried to honor Carlo Lafazia, who was killed on French soil, fighting back the Germans in a final Allied assault during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.
He died Oct. 11, 1918, one month before the war ended.
He was 20 years old.
Efforts to honor his sacrifice have been hit with bad luck. In 2013, as Admiral Street was repaved, its monument to Lafazia went missing, city employees apparently mystified as to where it went. In 2017, a new monument was erected. In 2021, it was vandalized, knocked off its foundation.
Councilman David Salvatore, who represents the area, offered a reward for information, though no one was ever caught.
"One of the most difficult phone calls that I’ve had to make during my time on the City Council was to Jerry and to let him know that the monument honoring his late uncle was vandalized right here in Eagle Park," Salvatore recalled. However, he vowed to "go bigger and better" than before.
With roughly $12,000, more than half of which was donated by real-estate developer Richard Baccari and the Rhode Island Heritage Foundation, and the rest of which was council funds, the city was able to do just that.
Read the entire article on the Providence Journal web site.
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