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A place to sit and remember Bench honors Greenwich vet who helped save the world from tyranny

November 30, 2018

GREENWICH — The veterans’ memorial park in Cos Cob has been refurbished, and thanks to the generosity of two local veterans, one of whom passed away in September, it has two brand-new benches.

Fred Intrieri, a World War II Army veteran, helped create the little park and installed a memorial plaque there in the 1980s, with the assistance of another local vet, Joseph Ponger.

Intrieri died in September at the age of 93. Before he passed away, he donated the funds for a new teak bench at the park, which now bears his name. Another bench was donated by Anthony Marzullo, a Korean War veteran who is also a service officer with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10112 in Cos Cob.

Josephine Colangelo, the daughter of Intrieri, said she was thrilled to see her father recognized at the veterans park off Strickland Road. Besides putting together the plaque honoring veterans at the park, he attended remembrance events there every year for his entire life, without fail, she said.

When the proposal was made to name a bench after her father, she thought it was a great idea.

“I was so happy to hear about this — this was my father’s life. He was so proud of his service,” she said. And though he was instrumental in creating the veterans park adjacent to the Bush-Holley House and the grounds of the Greenwich Historical Society, “he never took credit,” Colangelo said.

The daughter said she was “very proud” to see her father’s name at the veterans park. “He did so much for this community, it’s nice to see him get some recognition,” she said. Intrieri was a longtime volunteer in the fire police, and was buried in his fire department uniform, and he was active in a range of community projects.

When the town began refurbishing the park in recent weeks, Marzullo said it made sense to replace the drab, basic benches there before. “I said to myself, ‘We ought to upgrade the park, put some new benches, and make it look great,’ ” he said.

The benches will also be a valuable addition for people who have mobility issues, he said, when they attend Memorial Day and Veterans Day observances there. As for the honor for Intrieri, “he really qualifies,” said Marzullo.

Intrieri’s son-in-law, Dan Colangelo, said the honors for Intrieri and others were well deserved. “He was part of a generation that lived through a Depression, then had to fight a world war. This is history now, and unfortunately, there are generations out there who don’t know about it, how they saved the world from tyranny,” he said.

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