Friends and Neighbors Remember ‘Chick’

Armando Chick Galella in front of the Cumo Bridge lit up for him on Pearl Harbor Day 2020. (Photo: Margaret Fox Photography).

Compiled by Gina Carey  

“Chick had an incredibly magnetic personality and he spoke with such energy and passion. The students listened intently…. so much so that you could hear a pin drop in my classroom. His need to bear witness made history come alive. He truly wanted young people to understand the meaning of sacrifice and what it means to be an American.” – Andrea Harrison, close friend, art teacher, Sleepy Hollow Middle School 

“I have had the distinct honor to have known Mr. Galella for over 45 years. He was a man deeply committed to his community and most especially to his life’s mission of making sure that this generation ‘Never Forgets’ those that lost their life for this great country. Several years ago, he called and asked me to help put a plaque at the entrance to Morse School, former North Tarrytown High School. He wanted the plaque to bear the names of, as he said, ‘those boys who left these hallowed halls as High School graduates and never returned.’ Some years later, Chick called and wanted help to cover the front lawn in front of the Sleepy Hollow Middle School High School on Veterans Day and Memorial Day. with small American flags. Middle School students and staff eagerly help every year with this, and the Rotary Club supports Mr. Galella’s dream.” – Mimi Godwin, close friend and former president of the BOE 

See Tarrytown resident and River Journal writer Angela Bosco-Zivica’s personal memories of her relationship with Chick HERE

“He was always the life of the party, he loved to dance like no other! I know he is now dancing with the angels in Heaven. Dance your dance, Chick!” – Cindy Guzman, YMCA dance director 

“He taught me to be bigger than myself and always do the right thing. And never think you’re not good enough, because you always are. He taught me so much. Not just being a good person, but to learn how to serve my country and my community.” – Scott – Sleepy Hollow High School student 

Veterans Day Flags on Sleepy Hollow High School, December 2018.

“General Douglas Macarthur said, ‘Duty, Honor, Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.’ These are all the things that Master Sergeant Galella stood for and much more. Chick dedicated his life to serving his country and his community. I salute him for his legacy, dedication, and commitment.” –Tarrytown Mayor Thomas D. Butler (colonel, retired) 

“I will dearly miss my longtime friend and dance partner. He was known throughout Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown for not only being a World War II hero, but also because of the many ways he served the community — as a Sleepy Hollow trustee and deputy mayor, fire commissioner, veterans’ advocate and more. He also raised money to commission a statue honoring Gold Star Mothers in Horan’s Landing Park. When I was elected to the State Senate, I used to represent Sleepy Hollow, and Chick was one of my constituents. After redistricting, I lost Sleepy Hollow, but I refused to give up Chick. He remained one of my honorary constituents until the end. Sadly, there is one less hero among us and one less member of the greatest generation.” – State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins 

“Armando ‘Chick’ Galella was a hero of the Hudson Valley. He will forever deserve our gratitude for his service to our country during World War II, and for his work in the decades that followed to bring awareness to the history of the attack at Pearl Harbor, being a first-hand survivor. He was an inspiration to countless people, near and far, always ready to help other veterans and military families. Chick—you will be missed greatly.” Pete Harckham, state senator 

“Chick Galella was one of a kind, a true American hero, and through his annual participation in our Pearl Harbor Day ceremony, an important and beloved member of the Intrepid family. His stories from his remarkable life are legendary and left an indelible impact on so many. We are forever grateful to Chick and his family.” – Susan Marenoff-Zausner, president, Intrepid Museum 

“He enthusiastically shared his experiences in WW II and growing up in ‘North Tarrytown’. Students and adults were equally attracted to his energy, honesty, and wit. For me and so many others he will always remain our ‘Legend of Sleepy Hollow;’ his spirit, teaching and commitment to service will continue to inspire us for years to come.” – Christopher Borsari, superintendent, Public Schools of the Tarrytowns 

“Chick was a man whose service to our country was matched by his service to our villages and residents. As a public servant, volunteer fireman, church volunteer, and public speaker, Chick took on all tasks with a positive attitude and a sincere desire to contribute to the community he loved. His dedication to educating the public about Pearl Harbor and his support of those in the service and their families is legendary. In December 2020, the Historical Society awarded him our 2020 Preservation Award, which was presented to him ‘for his efforts teaching history, preserving memorials, and honoring the memory of all veterans’. We were also honored to work with Chick and his sons on the Gold Star Mothers – Margaret Horan Memorial over the last couple of years.  This project culminated in the dedication of the memorial in Sleepy Hollow this year on Mother’s Day.” – Sara Mascia, executive director of The Historical Society

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About the Author: Gina Carey