Dear Warwick Community,
On January 20, 2021, our son Danny died in a helicopter crash during a training mission with the N.Y. Army National Guard in Rochester.
The days that followed were filled with shock and deep sorrow.
We experienced the love and outpouring of kindness and care from a small town that went beyond anything we could have ever imagined. Please forgive us if we leave out your name as we attempt to thank those who jumped in to carry us through our grief.
To the U.S. Army and N.Y. Army National Guard, from the moment we were notified of Danny’s death, you held our hands during this difficult time: packing Danny’s belongings, driving Anne home from Rochester, a visit of condolence from Danny’s chain of command, walking us through difficult and necessary paperwork and much more.
Father Jack Arlotta and the numerous people from our wonderful parish, school and Alumni Association, St. Stephens, you opened the church and your hearts to us, allowing us to host Danny’s memorial service, wake and funeral in our beautiful sanctuary – and all the hours of planning and “extras” that went along with those events, particularly under the restrictions of COVID.
Members of the N.Y. State Police, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and N.Y. National Guard, Warwick and other local fire and police departments, you escorted our son throughout the many journeys necessary – ultimately to his final resting place.
Friends, neighbors, complete strangers, members of the Rotary and Knights of Columbus and local contractors, thank you for the beautiful tribute of flags and luminaries that lined our streets.
There were 160 of each, and those luminaries required daily care; we are deeply touched by your kindness.
Main Street in Warwick was also enveloped in American flags; thank you, Mayor Newhard.
To our County Executive: thank you for speaking so kindly about Danny in several of your daily briefings and for “rallying the troops” for the funeral procession between the church and West Point. There were giant flags; fire, police, and EMS departments; citizens; children; friends and strangers carrying us through this difficult ride. Thank you, Senator Martucci, for all you did to honor Danny at the state level.
Thank you to the Orange County AOH Bagpipe Band for a beautiful tribute.
To all at West Point, the West Point Band and Ceremonial Unit for a most dignified service as Danny was laid to rest in this very special place overlooking the Hudson, we thank you deeply.
To all others who prayed for us, sent donations to SmallThings, meals, cards, flowers and other gifts, we thank you.
Danny loved his country and he loved his hometown of Warwick. But most of all he loved the people here and the people he met along the way. We will miss him dearly, but hope his spirit of love, kindness and happiness will live on.
With sincere gratitude,
The Prial Family