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You are here: Home Englewood Englewood honors Police Detective Ford and the Tuskegee Airmen at Memorial Day ceremonies

Englewood, NJ News

Englewood honors Police Detective Ford and the Tuskegee Airmen at Memorial Day ceremonies

Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes presents key to the city to Police Detective Stephen C. Ford
Det. Ford awarded key to city
ENGLEWOOD, NJ - "Suitably remembering the valiant soldiers who protect us and our country, it is vital to revisit what they fought for, what is so important to us, to the free world, which requires such great sacrifice."

With these solemn words, Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes stood before the Liberty Monument and paid tribute to "the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for our freedom" at the Memorial Day ceremonies in Englewood yesterday. 

Wildes also took the opportunity to honor Englewood Police Department Detective Stephen C. Ford, who was named Grand Marshall of the Memorial Day Parade, for his service to the city over the past 25 years.

In awarding Detective Ford the city's highest honor, a key to the city, Wildes noted that, in addition to his service to Englewood, Ford also served his country in the United States Army for 21 years, including active duty in Kuwait, missions to extract American students from Grenada, and service as a senior drill instructor.

The commemorative ceremony and parade at the Veteran's Monument were organized by Englewood resident and local historian Olga Mosciaro. This year's ceremonies also commemorated the famed Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American pilots who Wildes observed "not only showed courage in the face of our enemies but here at home as well, [who] worked fervently for the privilege of serving their country."

By the end of WWII, the Tuskegee Airmen were credited with shooting down 109 German Luftwaffe airplanes, and were awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for their contribution.

Present at the Englewood ceremonies was Tuskegee Airman Conrad DeSandies, who served with both the 99th squadron here at home and the 332nd overseas. Ending his service with an honorable discharge in 1945, Conrad eventually made Teaneck his home, where he and his wife had four children, including their youngest, Andre, who lives in Englewood.

Mayor Wildes dedicated a plaque, to be permanently installed on the Liberty Monument, as a reminder of the dedication and service of the Tuskegee Airmen. Reading from the plaque the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Wildes said "It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it."

Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes awards key to the city to Police Detective Stephen Ford
Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes awards key to the city to Police Detective Stephen Ford

Mayor Michael Wildes (center) with Victor Lucianna (left) & Frank Lucianna (right)
Victor Lucianna (l), who served in Infantry at Battle of Okinawa & received 2 bronze stars; Frank Lucianna (r), served in Infantry and 15th Air Force & received Air Medal & Distinguished Air Medal

Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes presents a bronze plaque in honor of Conrad DeSandies & the Tuskegee Airmen
Mayor Wildes presents bronze plaque in honor of Conrad DeSandies & the Tuskegee Airmen

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BERGEN COUNTY NEWS LOCATION: Englewood NJ, Englewood New Jersey

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