NEW CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There was a touching ceremony in Rockland County on Wednesday morning.
Three generations of one family gathered to honor a man killed in Vietnam 50 years ago, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
He grew up on Badger Street, the oldest of five siblings. Jimmy Margro was drafted, sent to Vietnam, and, like 13 others drafted from his high school, came home in a casket.
But now, his memory is forever enshrined on the street where members of his family still live in the form of a memorial sign, honoring his sacrifice.
Margro was a medic with the 101st Airborne. He was killed in May of 1969 during the famed battle of Hamburger Hill when his chopper was shot down while attempting to airlift an injured soldier.
He was Theresa Taylor’s brother.
“It completely changed our family dynamic. My parents were devastated. It was just a great loss,” Taylor said.
Taylor said her parents watched coverage of the war every night on the evening news, and always understood they might be getting that knock on the door.
“I don’t know whether you call it intuition or what, but my mother was not that shocked when the Army officers pulled up to the house. She knew the dangers,” Taylor said.
Margro was John Ferrato’s friend.
“He was an all-out type of guy, who always did for everybody else. Always giving,” Ferrato said.
Web Extra: Clarkstown Street Renamed For U.S. Army Medic Killed In Vietnam:
Wednesday’s ceremony was simple, and lovely. Vietnam veterans, local dignitaries and members of Margro’s family gathered to unveil the sign.
“While the war is long over, the memory of one who was loved and lost remains,” Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann said. “Thus today, a grateful town and its people pause and do something sacred, namely we honor the memory of a fallen American hero.”
A collection of medals, including a Purple Heart and Silver Star, speak to Margro’s dedication to duty.
“Devotion to duty is why Jimmy was on that rescue mission on May 13,” Taylor said.
Dozens of fellow 1967 graduates of Spring Valley High School attended the ceremony. They said seeing the sign makes them a little sad, but also causes them to smile as they remember their friend, who was called to serve and made the ultimate sacrifice.
“It is so important. If you forget history, you forget the past, and then without the past the future is lost. It’s extremely important that people remember,” said Howard Golden, Rockland commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart veterans organization.