Mayor Brian Arrigo and the Revere Veterans Office held a memorial pole dedication ceremony for U.S. Army Corporal Jerry J. DeLena Sunday on Hyde Street.
Mr. DeLena was honored for his distinguished service in the U.S. Army during World War II, having been awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star with Valor, the Good Conduct Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, and the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal. Mr. DeLena also served as the Commissioner of Veteran Affairs for 32 years in the city of Revere.
Revere Veterans Office Director Marc Silvestri was the master of ceremonies for the program, calling it “an honor and a special day” of recognition for Mr. DeLena and his family.
Mayor Brian Arrigo said Mr. DeLena, who stood 5-foot-6 inches tall and weighed 125 pounds, “was seven months past his 20th birthday when he was inducted in to the Army on Nov. 19, 1942.”
Arrigo said that while “hero” is used often in the world of sports, “it’s mornings like this where we cannot forget the real meaning of the word hero. It connotes courage and it lets us think about the courage that 20-year-old like Jerry DeLena demonstrated in history’s most violent conflict, a war that united our nation’s people as one and probably saved the civilization on which our nation grew.”
Mayor Arrigo said that in Mr. DeLena’s 32 years of service as commissioner of veterans affairs in Revere, “Jerry never stopped helping his fellow soldiers.”