SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — A memorial will be unveiled in Sleepy Hollow, New York on Sunday, Mother's Day, honoring Gold Star Mothers who lost their children at war.
"It's so unbelievable, this was on my mind for years," Galella said.
The life-size bronze statue was sculpted by decorated Vietnam War Veteran Andrew Chernak Captured and features a mother with tears on her cheeks holding a telegram with a photo of her son in uniform on an end table.
It will be placed at Horan's Landing — a park named in memory of Galella's childhood friend, John Horan, who was killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Galella wanted to create the memorial to honor not just Horan's mother, but all mothers who gave their sons and daughters to the service.
When Galella returned home from the war, he visited Horan's mother — a moment that he will never forget.
"A mother grieves forever," Galella said. "I had to go see Mrs. Horan after John Horan got killed on Dec. 7 and tell her how her son was a hero. I had to do that. I get emotional."
Galella and a devoted committee of volunteers generated more than $100,000 in donations in a month and half.
Now it's on to the next one for Galella.
"My next journey is to get back to Pearl Harbor on the 80th anniversary," Galella said. "That's my plan. With the grace of the good Lord, I'm going if I have to walk, I'm going to pay my respects."
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