LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) - Officer Patty Parete bravely served and protected Buffalo until a line-of-duty shooting ended her career, and eventually ended her life.
Officer Parete died earlier this year, more than six years after a criminal's bullet left her paralyzed. Wednesday night, loved ones fought for her legacy to live on in her hometown.
Parete's former Lockport High School classmate Joe DiPasquale had tried to get Lockports' Rogers Avenue Park named in her honor, but it got City Council members thinking of other fallen heroes who still have nothing named after them in Lockport.
So Wednesday night, the Council announced a solution, turning a portion of Outwater Park into a Fallen Heroes Memorial. Specifically, an old fountain which hasn't been an operating fountain in years, will be turned into a flowerbed and memorial.
Tammy Parete, Patty's stepmother, said, "I'm very proud...very happy. To me, this is better because she grew up on this side of town, just three blocks away from here. Her father and I still live a block away from here so this is a perfect spot for her."
But this memorial will also bear at lest two other names: fallen Niagara County Sheriff Deputy Jeffery Incardono and Army Specialist Albert Jex, who was killed in Iraq four years ago.
DiPasquale said, "They all deserve recognition and I couldn't be happier."
Jex's mother, Cathy MacFarland, said, "Fallen heroes have streets that are named, or Post Offices, and I tried for a bridge and ran up against a brick wall here, so this is finally like there's something."
Lockport Council President Anne McCaffrey said, "We're looking to put the committee together over the next week or two and get them moving as quickly as possible with some guidelines in place and hopefully in the next few months and a memorial moving toward summer."
McCaffrey is hopeful that this Fallen Heroes Memorial in Outwater Park will be done by the end of summer.
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