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Prideful display with roots in Waterloo

After creating a display for the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame, José Caraballo figured he was done with military tributes for the year.

“I was not going to do anything for Veterans Day, but I later said to myself, ‘Wait a minute.’ I wanted to say thank you to my sisters and brothers in combat,” said Caraballo, a Vietnam veteran and longtime Waterloo resident. “So, I started thinking of ideas.”

That idea turned into a miniature version of Arlington National Cemetery, which was on display last Wednesday night during the annual veterans dinner and concert at Waterloo High School.

“I am using this for educational purposes,” Caraballo said. “The kids don’t realize how important this is for us.”

Caraballo worked with Dan Hacker, the school’s band director, to set up the display outside the high school auditorium.

“José has been a big supporter of the music department here for a very long time, and he knows we have this dinner and concert for our veterans every year,” Hacker said. “He wanted to bring his display, and I thought it was a great idea.”

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