August 10, 2020
Contact: Shannon Polvino
(716) 597-5188

Over 200 Sign Petition to Rename Columbus Park “Buffalo Medal of Honor Park”

Honoring a Buffalo-Born Hero, Sergeant John Basilone USMC with a Statue

Honoring a Buffalo-Born Hero, Sergeant John Basilone USMC with a Statue

(Buffalo, NY) – The July 10 removal of the Christopher Columbus statue from Buffalo’s Columbus Park has provoked mixed emotions in Buffalo’s Italian-American community. Recent events have inspired a conversation about what should replace the statue, focusing on Buffalo-born Marine Sergeant John Basilone and his fellow Medal of Honor recipients.


Joe Sedita, a prominent member of the Western New York legal community, has started a petition to rename the park “ Buffalo Medal of Honor Park“ and to construct a statue of Marine Sergeant John Basilone, recipient of the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross. Sedita believes the initiative would create a place to recognize the striving patriotism and ultimate triumph of millions of immigrants from around the globe who became Americans since the late 19th century.


“The park would commemorate one of the most decorated servicemen of World War II, John Basilone, a hero to our community and our country.” Sedita said. “By renaming Columbus Park, Buffalo Medal of Honor Park, and gracing it with a statue of John Basilone, our community can continue to celebrate pride in our country and inspire generations to come with the meaning of true heroism.”


The Buffalo Medal of Honor Park initiative is gaining traction in the Buffalo community with nearly 200 signatures on the online petition. A team is forming to lead the initiative to fruition. Those who support the initiative can visit and sign the online petition at Join us in celebrating pride in our country and inspiring generations to come with the meaning of true heroism.




Buffalo Medal of Honor Park would re-dedicate the Columbus Park site to honor our U.S. Veterans and the legacy of Sergeant John Basilone. Basilone received the Medal of Honor in 1942 for his courage and bravery during World War II. Basilone came from an Italian-American family, so honoring his heroism is the perfect path toward highlighting patriotism in a time when we need it most. Learn more at and sign the online petition at



Sergeant John “Manila John” Basilone, USMC, was born in Buffalo, NY in 1916. He was awarded the Medal of Honor, our nation’s highest tribute to valor, for his unparalleled exploits of bravery during the Battle of Guadalcanal in WWII. On October 24, 1942, during the Battle for Henderson Field, Basilone’s unit was assaulted by over 3,000 soldiers from the Japanese Sendai Division. He commanded two sections of machine guns which fought for two days until only himself and two other Marines were left standing.


Basilone’s courageous efforts led to him being awarded the Medal of Honor in 1942. After a brief stint stateside, he decided that instead of spending the rest of the conflict selling war bonds, he would return to combat in order to be with his boys. After further acts of incredible bravery during the Battle of Iwo Jima, he died at the age of 28 while leading a stranded Marine tank to safety through a minefield. He received America’s next-highest decoration for valor, the Navy Cross, posthumously, for his heroism on Iwo Jima. Read his full bio here: