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Memorial Day 2017: Heroes Among Us

Devils and Prudential honor members of armed services at The Rock

by Brian Born @BrianBorn / newjerseydevils.com

Heroes Among Us: Gene Moretti

Heroes Among Us: Gene Moretti

The Devils and Prudential honored Gene Moretti and his brother Joseph who volunteered to serve their country at the beginning of World War II

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On Memorial Day 2017, we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our American freedom. During each of the Devils 41 home games at The Rock, Prudential and the team salutes one of the many Heroes Among Us. Look back at those unforgettable moments in arena as we continue to support all the men and women who have served and are serving in our Armed Forces around the globe.

October 18, 2016: Larry Kohen

Video: Heroes Among Us: Larry Kohen

World War II Veteran Larry Kohen was honored during the Devils 2016-17 home-opener. Kohan was drafted into the US Navy in 1943, just two months after his 18th birthday. At the young age of 20, Kohan was responsible for the operations of the USS Monssen's electrical system. The USS Monssen would later be involved in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle in US history. Kohan and his shipmates would be awarded Battle Stars for sinking one battleship, one destroyer, one submarine, and the downing of five kamikazes. Larry Kohan currently lives in Lakewood, New Jersey with his family. 

January 2, 2017: Gene Moretti

Video: Heroes Among Us: Gene Moretti

Born in 1917, Gene Moretti and his brother Joseph volunteered to serve their country at the beginning of World War II, and in 1942 Gene's unit took part in the first US invasion of enemy territory known as Operation Torch. Gene later participated in the Invasion of Sicily, and in March 1944, his unit was assigned to Naples, where the previously dormant volcano Mount Vesuvius erupted. Due to that catastrophe, the US Airfield was hit by lava, resulting in the loss of 80 planes. Gene's brother Joseph would later lose his life serving our country on the USS Bunker Hill. Due to an attack on the USS Lewis Morris, Gene suffered permanent hearing loss before returning home from the war. After WWII, Gene married the love of his life Maria, and they were together for 66 years before Maria passed away in 2014. Gene turned 100 years old in January was joined by his family for his acknowledgement at The Rock.
 
February 6, 2017: Aldo Freda

Video: Heroes Among Us: Aldo Freda

92 year's old, World War II Army Veteran Aldo Freda was born and raised in Jersey City. Private First Class Freda entered the Armed Forces in 1943 and, after training for just 17 weeks, was deployed overseas just 10 days after the D-Day Invasion in Normandy. In July 1944, Freda was captured as a POW, moving from city to city doing railroad work and manual labor until April 1945. Aldo lost 110 pounds in the ten months he was held as a POW but was rescued by the 87th Division and returned home to New Jersey to recover. Aldo went on join the Catholic War Vets organization and Veterans of Foreign Wars organization before joining several POW chapters.

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