Francesco Bastone, Who Died In 1946, Fought For The U.S. Army During The Battle Of Argonne In France

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A special honor has been bestowed upon a local soldier, a hundred years in the making.

He received a Purple Heart for injuries suffered in World War I.

There are statues and monuments dotted around the region, but World War I is forgotten history for most of us.

On Thursday, it came alive for 92-year-old Alfredo Bastone, as the nation finally honored his father, Francesco.

“It was really nice to present the Purple Heart to this family,” Alfredo said.

One hundred years ago, Francesco Bastone was serving with the U.S. Army during the Battle of Argonne in France. The Germans used poison gas and Francesco was seriously injured, hospitalized for five months.

“It was real service on his part. He suffered for the country, and it shortened his life,” grandson Frank Bastone said.

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Frank Bastone said Francesco died in 1946 after years of ill health as a result of the poison gas.

Over the years, the family compiled hundreds of pages of military records to document Francesco’s service, and, with help from Congresswoman Nita Lowey, successfully applied for a posthumous Purple Heart.

“It’s important for the next generation to understand the kinds of sacrifices men like Francesco Bastone made so we could be free,” said Lowey, a Democrat who serves Westchester and Rockland counties.

Francesco Bastone was rightfully honored for his bravery and suffering, one of the stories behind the statues.