WXXA (Albany NY):
Longtime Albany pastor recognized posthumously for actions in WWII
SCHENECTADY – The longtime pastor of Albany’s St. James Parish was recognized posthumously Sunday for his distinguished military service.Rev. Anthony Sidoti served as a U.S. Army chaplain during World War II. Though he risked his life to save wounded soldiers, Fr. Sidoti never told his family or friends about his heroism.
“Father never talked about what he did in the war,” Fr. Sidoti’s second cousin, Mark Frey, told FOX23 News. “So learning about these things is really a revelation to me and my family.”
“One day, someone said to me, ‘You know, he got the Silver Star,’” Pepe said. “I said, ‘Chaplains don’t get those kinds of medals.’ Or at least so I thought.”’
Intrigued, Pepe and his son began conducting their own research. They discovered that Fr. Sidoti established an aid station inside an abandoned cement plant in France, and worked around the clock to evacuate wounded U.S. soldiers from the front lines.
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Pepe submitted his research to Rep. Paul Tonko (D – Amsterdam), who on Sunday presented the Four Chaplains Humanitarian Award posthumously to Fr. Sidoti. It is named for the four U.S. Army chaplains who died on Feb. 3, 1943 after giving their life jackets to U.S. soldiers aboard a sinking ship. One of the chaplains, Clark Poling, had been a pastor at the First Reformed Church of Schenectady where the ceremony was held.
“[Fr. Sidoti] was very quiet about the great things that had happened under his leadership,” Tonko said. “The humility with which he carried himself makes him an even more profound hero, I believe.”
I know this is just a local story but I figure we need good news as well – especially chaplains seldom get the recognition they deserve.