Peace Plaza Vet Memorial on Nov. 11

Event emcee Al Corcillo (c), past grand knight of the Mary Queen of Peace Council of Knights of Columbus, is joined by fellow veterans and attendees at the Peace Plaza Veterans Day ceremony in 2011.
by Patrick Rocchio

As they have for two decades, veterans will gather at Peace Memorial Plaza on Veterans Day Nov. 11 to remember the service of millions of veterans both living and deceased.

Three organizations – Mary Queen of Peace Council of the Knights of Columbus, the Morris Park Kiwanis, and the Morris Park Community Association – will host the annual remembrance ceremony for veterans at Rudy Macina Peace Memorial Plaza that Sunday at 11 a.m.

Sadly the event’s MC for most recent years, Al Corcillo of Mary Queen of Peace Council, will no longer be at the helm. He passed away earlier this year. Luckily, Silvio Mazzella of the Morris Park Community Association will take over as master of ceremonies.

Mazzella follows in a line of leaders for the event going back to Rudy Macina, who Mazzella said first began the event in the early 1990s.

“We are paying respect and thanking all the veterans who did serve and are serving,” said Mazzella.

Macina founded the annual remembrance, and was a member of all three organizations, which is why they continue to sponsor and organize the annual event, said Mazzella – who is also an advocate for Catholic causes.

The ceremony will begin with a wreath laying at the memorial, with monuments remembering the many wars and conflicts that the nation has seen, according to organizers.

Remarks from veterans, elected officials, and dignitaries are also expected at the event.

Bob Bieder, a member of Mary Queen of Peace Council of the Knights of Columbus, said that the selection of Mazzella as the master of ceremonies is a very appropriate one.

“We wanted a veteran up there as MC and I think that Silvio fits the bill,” said Bieder, adding the sound system and podium are always provided by the Mary Queen of Peace Council of the Knights of Columbus, with his fellow merchants in the Westchester Square area also helping the effort.

In previous years, John Dormi & Sons Funeral Home at 1121 Morris Park Ave. donated flags for attendees, and Ann Art Florist at 2022 Williamsbridge Road donated wreaths for the solemn ceremony, with other merchants also assisting the effort, said Mazzella.

The event may see more changes in 2013. According to Bieder, the Mary Queen of Peace Council will be merged with the St. Benedict’s Knights of Columbus Council by the end of the year, but not until it donates its one millionth dollar, with a check for well over $100,000, to Calvary Hospital in December.

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at or by phone at (718) 742-3393

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