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Beloved Torrington WWII veteran passes away

Defending the stars and stripes - it was a lesson John Mastrocola wanted to teach anyone who would listen for as long as he could.

TORRINGTON, Conn. — Editor's note: This video is from July 22nd, 2020

A World War 2 veteran from Torrington has passed away, said the town's Mayor. 

FOX61 first introduced you to John Mastrocola last July. Mastrocola, for hours each day, would grab a lawn chair and an American flag. He'd sit on the sidewalk and wave the flag at passersby.

"I am one of the very few World War II veterans left so before I leave I want them to remember John 'never surrender' Mastrocola,' said Mastrocola.

He said not enough people respect the flag, and respect the country they live in.

"Once you disrespect the flag, the country goes down the tubes," said Mastrocola.

Defending the stars and stripes. It's a lesson Mastrocola wanted to teach anyone who would listen, for as long as he can.

Some in the city would honk and wave, others knew him by name and he sent them off with a salute. 

The Torrington community, and other residents across the state who had come to know Mastrocola, came out in support for him last summer, holding him a car parade in his honor.

Dozens of cars drove past honking at Mastrocola, sending him as much love as he's given back to the community.

Torrington Mayor Elinor Carbone said on Facebook about Mastrocola's passing:

"It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that World War II Navy veteran John Mastrocola has passed away. John will always be remembered for his fight-to-the end and “never surrender” life path. We will miss his commitment to our country, our veterans, and our community."



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