During the August 24th North Bergen Board of Commissioner’s meeting, Grovert Fuentes, Air Force combat veteran serving two tours overseas and lifelong resident, urged the town to adopt an ordinance to honor fallen soldier Sgt. Marcos Gorra.
The draft Mr. Fuentes introduced would dedicate the corner of 76th and Kennedy Boulevard to the late Marcos Gorra.
Sgt. Marcos Gorra was an Army paratrooper from North Bergen, N.J., died in February 12, 2010 of wounds sustained "while supporting combat operations," the military said. Gorra was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade. He was based at Kandahar Airfield.
“He passed away in February of 2010 and I think this would be a great way to honor Sergeant Gorra as a North Bergen resident,” Mr. Fuentes stated during the public portion of the meeting.
In response to the request, Mayor Nicholas Sacco stated that the township of North Bergen “does not usually name streets after people,” however, that Sgt. Gorra is honored in many other ways. The mayor referenced that Gorra is honored at the annual 9/11 memorial held in remembrance of those who lost their lives during the attack. “I know the Gorra family and they’re a great family but there are many great families that we would have to name streets all over town.”
"He basically just slapped the face of every veteran out there," says Phil Camacho, a combat Veteran from North Bergen. "I may have moved to Philly a while ago but my heart is always North Bergen, and a huge part of that was Marcos and our parallel service together in Afghanistan."
This writer and publisher of the HudPost also joined the public section of the meeting in support of dedication of the street corner.
“Sgt. Gorra is a prime example of those who should be honored in our town… Marcos came here as a Cuban citizen and signed up for the military as soon as he finished high school…he paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
Sacco agreed that the Gorra’s are a “beautiful family” but that the dedication is unlikely. “If we name the street after him [Sgt. Gorra], where does it stop?”
This writer replied back, “those who served our country and paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
After the meeting, Freeholder Anthony Vainieri approached Mr. Fuentes about dedications to veterans and informed of the plans to build a dedication in the park and purchase of metal from ground zero.
“I thought this would be an easy approval from the Town of North Bergen,” said Mr. Fuentes. “Marcos is the only North Bergen veteran to have been killed during these two wars in the past 15 years. It's a little disappointing.”