A late civic leader and veterans advocate is getting his due after more than 60 years of community service.
Lou Durante, a World War II veteran and long-time member of in Pelham Bay’s American Legion 1498 Lawrence F. Keane Post, was honored by Congressman Joseph Crowley on Monday, May 5.
Crowley presented Durante’s family with a framed copy of the Congressional Record where Durante’s advocacy in recognizing the brave men and women of the Armed Forces was honored on the floor of the House of Representatives by the congressman.
Crowley also presented them with a flag flown over the Capital.
‘Spirit of selflessness’
“Lou Durante epitomized the spirit of selflessness,” said Crowley. “Lou devoted much of his life to making sure those who gave back to our community and country were never forgotten. It is only fitting that we now make sure his legacy lives on and honor his contributions to the Bronx community and our great nation.”
Durante, who died Feb. 22, helped with his post’s annual holiday toy distribution for the children of Pelham Bay, and more recently made sure the names of deceased area veterans were inscribed annually on a granite monument in Keane Square Park. He also recently helped secure funding to help renovate the Keane Post building at 2879 Buhre Avenue.
Joining Crowley was Councilman Jimmy Vacca, and representatives for Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Benedetto.
A humble man
“Lou Durante was a great American patriot, veteran and Bronxite,” said Vacca. “Whether he was fighting in World War II or acting as commander of the Lawrence Keane Memorial Post 1498 in Pelham Bay, his time was always spent in service to his country or community. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this honor.”
One of Durante’s daughters, Rosemarie Tangredi, said her father did his work in the community in a respectful and humble manor.
“Our family can’t thank Congressman Crowley enough for honoring my father,” said Tangredi. “This is a special day that we will never forget. My father would have been humbled by this recognition.”
Durante’s grandson Louis Navarro, who grew up around the American Legion post, said “I saw everything that he did to make it so special for these veterans who served our country. He did that until the very end while he was suffering with cancer, on chemothearpy, he did not want to let it go.”
Note: A previous story on Durante erroneously stated that Durante was married in 1961. He was married to his wife Lilly Durante in 1951, according to his daughter.