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Lockport to Honor Fallen Heroes After Long Wait

10:21 AM, Jun 20, 2013   |    comments
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LOCKPORT, NY - For two Lockport natives, it's been quite a struggle to get their fallen heroes and loved ones honored.

On Wednesday, Lockport City Council finally agreed to look at the idea of creating a memorial for all of those who have served and fallen to protect our freedom and are from the City of Lockport.

"I feel great about it, this whole thing started by trying to honor Patty," said Joe DiPasquale, who's been fighting for the recognition of Buffalo police officer Patty Parete. They were classmates together at Lockport High in the 1980s.

Parete died in February from her injuries she suffered seven years ago, when she was shot and paralyzed after responding to a robbery.

Recently, Lockport City Council denied naming a park in her name saying it wanted to honor other people who have served as well.

For Cathy MacFarlene, she's been fighting for U.S. Army Specialist Albert Jex. Four years ago, she lost her son in Iraq when his unit was attacked.

"I feel like a weight is off my shoulders," she said. "I miss him terribly."

And for about two years, MacFarlene has been fighting for the recognition of her son. But, City Council again, denied the recognition - this time of a bridge in Jex's name that his family requested.

The reason was the same one DiPasquale got.

"I didn't think there ever would be anything, I didn't think, after a while there would ever be something with my son's name on it," MacFarlene said.

Now, Lockport officials say there will be somewhere with her son's name and Parete's too. City council says it will create a "Fallen Heroes Memorial" that will honor heroes of Lockport.

It's location will be at Outwater Park in the city.

And a committee made up of city leaders will work over the next few months to design the memorial.

"I'm elated I think this is great, I think this is totally great," said MacFarlene.

Lockport Mayor Michael Tucker explains why the decision took so long.

"A couple years ago, we had a lot of discussion about it and when it happened for the Jex boy, it just kind of falls off the table we get caught up in everyday business," Tucker said.

The mayor says there will be no distractions this time around.

The plan right now for the memorial would be to refurbish a fountain in Outwater Park and the biographies of those recognized would be shown.

There will be a cost to the taxpayers, but the city has no estimates at this time. The project hasn't been formally approved.

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