A couple dozen people gathered at the American Legion, Post 296 Wednesday morning to celebrate the dedication of a plaque honoring Henry David "Ted" Santucci.



"It's been quite a few years since dad's been gone, so this hits home," said Guy Santucci, Ted's son and owner of Coastline Tree Service.



Situated in front of the M47 Patton tank that guards the Legion, the black plaque with gold writing recognizes Ted Santucci for his service to the American Legion and his efforts in securing the tank for Post 296.



Santucci, who was a 20-year Air Force veteran, was a past commander and member of the Legion. He served in Vietnam as a C-130 mechanic.



As the story goes, Santucci was responsible for having the tank donated to the American Legion prior to becoming a commander at the post in the late '80s, his family told The Log. The tank was delivered to the Legion on a flat bed truck.



As a youngster, Guy told the crowd that he remembered inspecting the tank and shifting gears in the nearly 49-ton, 12-cylinder machine.



Joined at Wednesday's celebration by his wife Aubrey, his son Guyver, his sister Lisa, and his uncle Salvador, Guy was clearly emotional as he spoke about his father and the dedication ceremony.



"This is something that's going to be here forever," Guy said. "It's an honor."



GROWING A COMMUNITY



In addition to Wednesday's ceremony honoring Ted Santucci, the Patriot's Day event also served as an unofficial "groundbreaking" for the community garden that will be planted behind the American Legion on Main Street. Coastline Tree Service will clear the lot free of charge as part of the community project led by the Main Street Betterment Alliance and volunteers. The Main Street Betterment Alliancemeets at 6 p.m. Tuesdays at the American Legion, 311 Main Street. Call 837-3818