Saturday, May 19, 2007

Vincenzo Romeo laid to rest

Mourners clutched red and white roses as an honor guard fired a 21-gun salute at a Paramus cemetery today for the burial of Staff. Sgt. Vincenzo Romeo, a 23-year-old soldier killed Sunday in Iraq.

"My son, my beautiful son," Saverina Romeo wailed over and over in Italian, casting herself over the silver casket.

Romeo, who immigrated from Italy with his family in 1986, had planned to return to his hometown of Lodi next year, marry his fiancee and become a New Jersey State Trooper, relatives said. But his plan was cut short when he and five other soldiers were killed by explosive that struck their Stryker armored vehicle.

Dressed in black and shaking with grief, Romeo's mother and his fiancee, Amanda Anderson, leaned against each other for support during an emotional funeral mass at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Lodi. Romeo's father, Antonio, and older brothers Bruno and Carmelo, walked stoically behind the women.

Rev. Hector Di Nardo spoke in English and Italian, thanking Romeo for his sacrifice and urging the crowd to pray for an end to the war.

"God knows how to reward those who give their lives for others," Di Nardo said in Italian. "God knows the recognition they deserve."

A graduate of Lodi High School, Romeo attended Kean University for one year before joining the Army in 2003. It was his second deployment in Iraq, where he served as an infantry soldier.

From the Star Ledger

Related Link:
Vincenzo Romeo dies of injuries from I.E.D.