Lin and I are so sad to hear the news of Pat Gualtieri's passing. For many years, Pat served on the United War Veterans Council and as a spokesperson for veterans of New York City and the metropolitan area. Pat was the recipient of the "HeroVet" Award from Veterans Advantage. Having served his country, he went on to make significant and important contributions to our society as a whole.
A fellow Vietnam Veteran, Pat was a great leader and he poured out his heart and soul for all who served and their families. It wasn't that long ago that the NYC Veterans Day Parade was a poorly attended event, with marchers often stopping for traffic lights on Fifth Avenue. Through Pat's hard work and vision, the NYC Parade has been transformed into America's largest Veterans Day Parade. Americans across the country also share in the celebration, as the Parade is broadcast on television throughout the U.S. Much of this outpouring of appreciation and support of our veterans came thanks to Pat's dedication, persistence and absolute belief that America must thank those who serve.
As we march in this year's parade, we will be thinking of Pat all along the parade route. We will deeply miss his strength, commitment and inimitable sense of humor and showmanship.