World War II veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor Armando “Chick” Galella remembers the attack on Pearl Harbor like it was only yesterday.
The 98-year-old Sleepy Hollow resident met with Sleepy Hollow Middle School students in Andrea Harrison’s art classes on 9/11.
The students soon learned that ironically, Galella enlisted in the army on September 11, 1940. He served five years in the Pacific Theater and earned the highest rank an enlisted man can receive - Battalion Sergeant. Galella received the Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious Service and bravery in the Battle of Okinawa.
“I am very happy to speak with the students,” explained Galella. “I want them to remember.”
Superintendent of School Christopher Borsari and School Board President Mimi Godwin commended Galella for his dedication to the students and the community. “He is a legend,” said Borsari. “He wants everyone to be successful because he knows that the students are the future.”
“I am amazed that he made it. That he was able to fight,” commented eighth-grader Aaron Bell. His classmate Keyla Valdiviezo said, “It is awesome that I know someone who has helped us. It is inspiring that they risked their lives.”
Before leaving SHMS Galella encouraged the students to stay in school - “Get an education, listen to your teachers and respect them.”