Oswego County News Release
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December 26, 2008

Elected Officials Recognize WW II Veteran for Service to the Community

Phil Pecora of Oswego is presented a certificate recognizing his many decades of service to the community in a surprise ceremony in the legislative chambers of the County Office Building. From left are State Senator Darrel Aubertine, Pecora and his wife, Theresa, Legislature Chairman Barry Leemann, and Legislator Lee Walker Jr., District 15, Oswego. (Photo by Steve Yablonski.)

OSWEGO -- As many members of his large family and friends looked on, state and local leaders recently presented commendations to Phil Pecora, an Oswego resident who has served his nation and community many times over the past nine decades.

The recognition was a surprise to Pecora, and was arranged by County Legislator Lee B. Walker Jr., District 15, Oswego. Pecora, who turned 89 on Dec. 16, “is a true gentleman who makes Oswego proud,” said Legislator Walker.

An Army veteran of World War II, Pecora fought 64 years ago, almost to the day, in the Battle of the Bulge. He and his wife, Theresa, raised a family of three children, Dennis, Phyllis and Daniel, in Oswego. He is a crossing guard for the Oswego City School District and a longtime member of St. Joseph's Church. Phil retired from the Oswego Cyclotherm plant after 40 years of service.

“I am proud to have you as a resident of Oswego County,” Legislature Chairman Barry Leemann told Pecora as he presented a proclamation outlining Pecora's many services to the citizens of Oswego County.

State Senator Darrel Aubertine also presented a commendation. “As chairman of the Senate Veterans Committee, I can't tell you what a privilege it is for me to make your acquaintance and call you a friend,” he said.

The Battle of the Bulge began on Pecora's 25th birthday, Dec. 16, 1944 when German forces entered the Ardennes Forest on the German - Belgian border. According to accounts, it was the coldest and snowiest winter in memory. Loss of life and equipment were heavy on both sides. There were 81,000 American casualties, including 19,276 killed and 23,554 captured. Most of the troops were just out of high school. After several weeks of fighting in brutal weather, Allied forces halted the German advances and the battle officially ended Jan. 25, 1945.

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