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Newark Veterans, First Responders Honored at Flag-Raising Ceremony

Columbian Foundation donates two flags in honor of Newark first responders, veterans

Newark veterans and first responders got a special salute Monday with a flag-raising ceremony in the North Ward.

The Columbian Foundation, founded in Newark by Italian businessmen in 1941, donated two flags – an American and Italian – to honor the city's fire and police departments, as well as military men. The older flags were torn to shreds by Super Storm Sandy, said Pasquale Gianetta, president of the foundation.

Many founding members of the Columbian Foundation were military veterans, Gianetta said.

The flags were raised at Christopher Columbus Plaza, located on Bloomfield Avenue and N. 8th Street, and before the

"My experience this weekend ... just gives me more respect of military veterans, as well as first responders of this great city," said Fire Chief John Centanni, who attended several Veterans Day ceremonies over the weekend.

Fire Director Fateen Ziyad also thanked the men for their hard work during Sandy and nor'easter Athena, which wreaked havoc throughout the city.

"Sandy was strong, but we were stronger," he said.

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