ECEMBER 7, 1941 was, as FDR said, "a day that will live in infamy." But on December 7, 2005, it was a glorious night to celebrate the brave men and women who wear the uniform of the United States.
The USO Gold Medal Gala was held in the sparkling Starlight Roof of The Waldorf-Astoria. From the freshest and brightest faces of the West Point Cadet Glee Club, and young military, to the sparkle and shine of the generals’ medals and brass, it was a night to honor "service and sacrifice." Twelve men and women from "The Greatest Generation," WWII veterans, were honored with special medals.
Gold medal for corporate leadership went to Martin Benante of Curtiss-Wright, a major military supplier, who spoke eloquently of the pride his workers took in producing materiel for the brave soldiers, sailors, airmen, marine and Coast Guard all serving on foreign land.
General James Helmly, was the military honoree. Malcolm Pray, an enlistee in the Korean War, who became one of Connecticut’s major businessmen as head of the Pray Automotive Center, was the veteran honoree for his humanitarianism. His Pray Center contains some of the world’s rarest, most expensive, vintage car collections, which are used to teach schoolchildren the value of hard work, dedication and loyalty, lessons we all value.