The Lockport Palace Theatre hosted Medal of Honor recipient Dave Bellavia Wednesday night, who touched upon a variety of topics, including his singlehanded siege on an enemy stronghold in Fallujah, Iraq.
November 10, 2004: Bellavia became trapped under heavy enemy gunfire during the 2nd battle for Fallujah. After exhausting all his own ammunition Bellavia recovered an enemy machine gun; storming the stronghold he cleared out five insurgents, ending the attack on him and his fellow soldiers.
Humbly, Bellavia remarked on that moment in the battle, “It was the moment all soldiers really wait for and I just happened to get that opportunity. Although, 99 out of 100 times it wouldn’t have gone the way that it did.”
Throughout his speaking Bellavia often regarded his appreciation for all veterans from all generations, and not just the ones who get a medal. While giving the Vietnam generation a special nod, he stated,
“There’s a generation of Vietnam Veterans that went to war and the country turned its back on that generation. They did their jobs and they served their country.” He continued, “The most incredible thing about the Vietnam generation is their protection of veterans coming home now from the same stupid that attacked them.”
Bellavia shared how surreal this experience has been, while also pointing out a core tenant of his presentations, touching upon having some effect in battling back what he perceives as an overly negative media. “This has been the strangest experience in the world. However, it is a blessing being able to go across the country and show people that everything they’re seeing on cable news is 100% garbage.”
The event ended with Mayor Michelle Roman honoring the Lyndonville native, “I, Michelle Roman Mayor of the City of Lockport, proclaim today January 5th, 2020 as David Bellavia Day in the City of Lockport.”