This Fourth of July, communities throughout the region will dot the evening skies with fireworks and line the streets with flags and parades.
With former Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia, an Orleans County man and Buffalo area radio host who was recently presented the Medal of Honor by President Donald Trump for his actions in saving his squad in Fallujah, Iraq, western New York’s rich legacy of patriotism and sacrifice is refreshed in the national spotlight.
“We are tough people and we are only going to take so much. We are tough, we are strong and we are proud, and I hope no one ever has to endure that crap we went through, that type of kinetic fighting,” Bellavia said during an interview with the Batavia Daily News. “But at the same time, every member of Western New York is willing to do something for the nation and for each other. With that type of mind-set we will be all right.”
The value, and sacrifice, of Americans’ patriotism has been part of western New York for centuries, in Ontario County and surrounding areas like Livingston County.