On April 12, 1917, 20-year old Antonio Varacalli drowned while successfully rescuing a young woman from the Cayuga-Seneca Canal in Seneca Falls.
Antonio, who was a Barge Canal worker, was walking in the vicinity of the bridge when he heard someone scream. He ran to the canal bank and saw a young woman struggling in the water. Without hesitation, he jumped into the canal to save the young woman, although he could not swim. He managed to get the girl to the canal bank before he sank into the water, and drowned.
Saturday Seneca Falls residents gathered on the Bridge Street bridge to remember Varacalli. Seneca Falls town supervisor Donald Earle.
Walter Rutkowski of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission of Pittsburg. PA presented a a hero's grave marker which will be placed on Varacalli's tombstone. The event ended with the tossing of flowers into the canal.
Listen to Saturday's ceremony.
Seneca Falls Town Supervisor Don Earle
Photos by Greg Cotterill, Finger Lakes News Radio.