Monument to WWII Veteran finds permanent home - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Monument to WWII Veteran finds permanent home

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By: Melissa Randall

Twitter: @MelissaARandall

PFC Manuel Claudio made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.  1944 the 26 year old member of the army engineering corps was serving over sea's in Italy. He was killed in action when he stepped on a landmine. Nearly 70 years later  his city is remembering him.

Family members gathered along Fall River's waterfront off of Davol Street to remove the blue cloth from the monument which covered Claudio's name. His niece, Claudette, was just a child when he died. Her memories of her uncle have been passed down from her parents.

"He was a hell of a nice guy. Best one in the family," said Claudio. "And he was quite the athlete.  Unbelievable athlete."

It's not the first time Fall River has paid tribute to the private, or the first time the monument in his name has been dedicated. In fact it's the third. Family had long been discouraged by the other locations.

"It was beneath the spaghetti ramps, and I had friends that lived here 30 years. They'd go by that place 4, 5 times before they finally located it," said Claudio.

The monument had even been lost in storage for 5 years but now it has found a permanent home in Bicentennial Park.

The WWII monument joins the Iwo Jima statue which is already a fixture in the park. Both will be in good company.

"The intent of this park is to bring more monuments here and this will be our veterans memorial park," said Raymond Hague, the Director of Veterans' Services for Fall River.

The plan is to include a monument from each war the US fought in beginning with the Revolutionary War. The Claudio family says they are proud that they could be the first piece of the puzzle.

© WLNE-TV 2013

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