Giving Back

Clark's Bill Duffy Honored By UNICO for Dedication to Fallen Heroes

From left: Joe Almeda, Anthony Bengievenga, William Duffy, Ralph Bernardo, Anne Walko and Joe Arancio Credits: Susan R. Bonnell
Veronica and William Duffy Credits: Susan R. Bonnell

CLARK, NJ – Retired Clark police captain William Duffy has spent the last 40 years of his life devoted to the memory of Clark’s “fallen heroes,” those soldiers from Clark who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.  On Tuesday, Duffy was presented with UNICO International’s “Americanism Award” for his efforts.

“This award symbolizes and recognizes an individual that has gone above and beyond devoting their life to others,” Clark UNICO Chapter President Ralph Bernardo said.  He said Duffy’s name came up immediately when the chapter was selecting a nominee.

“He is someone who has given so much of his time, he’s done so much for the town,” Bernardo said. “He’s given selflessly.”

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Duffy began his exhaustive research into the lives and legacy of the 21 men from Clark who died in battle when he was a young police officer in town.  His research took him to local and national libraries. He conducted personal interviews with family members and has compiled facts, figures and memorabilia for each fallen soldier.  He was instrumental in the passing of a township ordinance that requires each new street be named after one of the heroes.   Each year in May he visits the Arthur L. Johnson High School to share his knowledge with the township’s youth.

See also: One Man’s Quest to Keep Alive the Memory of Clark’s War Dead

“This is the first time in over 40 years where a Clark organization has officially recognized my work with the Clark Fallen Heroes,” Duffy said. “I’m humbled by this.  But the recognition is really for those 21 guys. Not for me.”

UNICO National is the nation’s largest Italian-American service organization with local chapters throughout the United States.

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