WWII Vet Who Lived Through Great Depression On Coronavirus: 'We Will Prevail'

Sean Adams
March 24, 2020 - 9:54 am

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SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — During a crisis, perspective can be valuable.

As coronavirus turns our world completely upside, a Westchester County resident who has lived through some of the darkest chapters of modern history says keep your chin up, we will get through this.

"We will prevail, we'll get over this, we've gotta put ourselves all together, and try to help each other," says 99-year-old Armando "Chick" Galella, of Sleepy Hollow. "We will prevail, it's going to take time."

The World War II veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor was just 10 years old during the Great Depression and remembers waiting in line for food with his mother.

"I had to stand on line for food, so I know what it's all about. I know what it is to be poor. We never threw away the hard bread. My mom would boil hot water and take a little hot water, a little olive oil and we'd have that for our lunch," Galella told WCBS 880's Sean Adams. "My mom made her own pasta, made her own bread, so we tried to survive the best way we could."

Armando "Chick" Galella
Sean Adams/WCBS 880

As the world spiraled toward war, Galella joined the Army. He survived the attack on Pearl Harbor and believes unity helped the country persevere.

"That's what we gotta do. We gotta serve our country. Come hell or high water, we'll get through this," Galella said, adding that the best thing to do is keep calm, cool and collected.

The same applies to coronavirus.

Galella believes the key to overcoming adversity is working together and helping each other.

In this current crisis, Galella is doing his part by cooking and sharing that food with family and friends.

"I cook and I give away the food because I'm alone, because you gotta help your neighbor today because that's what it's all about," Galella said. "I make eggplant. I make spaghetti and meatballs. I make chicken cutlets. I give 'em to my family. I make the sauce, everybody likes my sauce."

Right now that just might be the best medicine.

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