NILES, Ohio (WKBN) — A special honor was given to a World War II veteran Sunday at the Fourth of July Parade in Niles.
Niles Native Joseph James Bonanno is a 100-year-old WWII veteran. He served courageously during WWII as a field medic under General George Patton.
He risked his life in service to fellow soldiers wounded in battle. Sunday, Bonanno received the mayoral proclamation from the city of Niles in their Fourth of July parade.
Bonanno was the Grand Marshall of the parade.
“This is the most excited I have ever seen him in his life. He’s so glad to be here and thrilled with this whole event,” said his son Joe Bonanno Jr.
Bonanno says it has been such an honor to serve and sacrifice for his country.
“I did my job for my country with my whole heart and soul. I talked to doctors. I talked to everybody out there so I could treat the people better,” said Bonanno.
Many family members of Bonnano talk about his wonderful character and personality.
“He’s been a great dad. He’s given us the tools we need to be successful in life, and he’s always showed us the difference between right and wrong,” said Bonanno’s other son Garry.
“He is the funniest person you know and also the most kind-hearted and selfless person. He would give anybody the shirt off his back,” said Bonanno’s great-niece Jenna Portale.
Bonanno’s family said the 100-year-old veteran still remains lively and active.
“He’s very active. He works out three times a week. He goes to the grocery store. He helps plan meals,” said Bonanno Jr.
Bonanno is one of over 100 veterans featured in the city of Niles’ Hometown Hero program.
He remains a proud veteran who believes life’s accomplishments are measured by the impact one makes in the lives of others.