The village of Solvay honored this Memorial Day with a ceremony at the Solvay Geddes Veteran's Memorial Monday morning.
The honoree was Solvay native and World War II veteran, John Panighetti. In 1944, he was drafted into the army with his best friend, Arthur Campagnoni.
"In Solvay we were always together in school, playing sports in the playground, and every time we could get together, we'd be together," says Panighetti.
In the midst of their first battle, which came to be known as "The Battle of the Bulge" Campagnoni was killed. His name is engraved on a monument at the Solvay Geddes Veteran's Memorial, feet away from where Panighetti was honored Monday.
Panighetti became a prisoner of war, when he was captured by the Germans while trying to cross the Rhine River.
"We slept on straw full of mice and everything else. We ate the same thing everyday. The Germans ate potatoes and they would make a soup out of the skins," says Panighetti.
The bronze star recipient is beyond grateful for the recognition of his hometown.
"I was very honored to be the honoree this year, but like I said, all the veterans are honorees, not just me. I just spoke for them," says Panighetti.
Like this Solvay community, Panighetti is especially grateful for the sacrifice of every service man and woman who has fought for our freedom.