Veterans museum adds new display case

Vietnam veteran Tony Salimbene, museum curator Joseph Garofalo and World War II veteran Joseph Mora paid a visit to Garofalo's veterans museum at Dormi and Sons. Photo by Patrick Rocchio

A museum that celebrates the contributions of veterans from the Bronx, currently located at John Dormi and Sons Funeral Home, has added. Now its curator is celebrating new donations and a new display case, thanks to Veterans and Friends, a Morris Park group..

The museum’s curator, World War II veteran Joseph Garofalo, now hashas secured two a second display cases for an assortment of artifacts including: service uniforms, battle memorabilia, and photos of living and deceased veterans from World War I to the Gulf War. His The museum is located in John Dormi and Sons Funeral Homehas settled into a corner of the lobby at Dormi and Sons at 1121 Morris Park Avenue. Established in 1999, it moved there six years agoin 2003. Garofalo, a retired carpenter, searched for a space for years.

The veterans’ museum is located in a corner of the funeral parlor’s lobby, and this location has worked well for six years. The museum was founded by Garofalo in 1999 and searched for a few years for someplace to set up shop.

“We had originally approached the library and several other organizations, but they all either turned us down or it just didn’t work out,” Garofalo said. “It was nice of Dormi and Sons to accept our the museum. Veterans and Friends recently chipped in for awith the new display case for our artifacts.”

Garofalo’s collection has grown over the past few years to include artifacts from American wars, includingincludes a Civil War bayonet, and knives from soldiers insoldiers’ knife from World War II, as well , and as newspapers heralding the JapaneseJapan’s attack on Pearl Harbor and the surrender ending at the end of World War II.

According to John Dormi and Sons owner Chris DiCostanzo, the deal he struck to make the museum a fixture of the funeral home is beneficial to all involved described the lobby arrangement as a win-win.

“Many of the families I service serve ask if they can put a picture of their loved one in the book of photos of veterans in the museum,” DiConstanzo said. “I like to think that we are a very ‘veteran- friendly’ business.”

DiConstanzo said he was happy to havethat the museum had find found a permanent home in his lobby.

“When Joe Garafolo Garofalo first came up with the [museum] idea he tried several places but and no one really had any room,” DiConstanzo statedsaid. “He needed a place with people coming in and out.

The funeral home owner praised Garofalo’s passion for veterans’ affairs.

For Joe, this has been a wonderful thing because he got so involved. “I’ am a Vietnam War Veteranveteran. So many veterans of my era are a little reluctant to get involved like Joe is,” he said. .”

Garofalo picked up many of the museum’s artifacts at flea markets and as donations. he has collected, includingThe museum boasts uniforms from World War WII – from a private to and a general –, and a knife that haswith a handle made out of a WWII airplane’s propeller blade of a downed World War II airplane, at flea markets and from donations.

“The museum continues to grow bigger and bigger each year,” he said.

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