They served in different wars, but Maspeth heroes Arigo Furner and Robert Reilly will be honored at the same ceremony following the Memorial Day Parade on Grand Avenue on Sunday, May 29, at 2 p.m. at Maspeth Veterans Square.
Furner was a part of the Army’s 29th Infantry Division in World War II and hit the Normandy beaches two months after the D-Day invasion of June 6, 1944. The 29th made their way through France into Germany, where they encountered heavy fire. Furner and some members of his platoon were wounded. After 24 hours help arrived, but unfortunately Furner lost his right arm.
After his time in the service, Furner worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs for 31 years. He still resides in the house in which he lived in 1952, with his wife, Theresa. They have two sons, Samuel and Robert.
Reilly enlisted in the Air Force in 1952 and spent four years in Tokyo. He later joined the Marines and was sent to Vietnam, where his convoy was ambushed in January, 1968, and he was wounded. Twenty-one men were killed and 70 wounded in the battle.
Reilly later earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from St. John’s University, serving as an administrative judge for workers compensation and a law secretary to a Supreme Court justice in Jamaica.
His wife, Eileen, is the executive director of Maspeth Town Hall. They have three children: Mike, Amanda and Thomas.