PITTSTON — The last Second Friday Art Walk of 2015 had a patriotic touch to it.
Michael Pilato, painter of the Inspiration Mural, spent over 50 hours during a vigil in honor of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on America to paint local heroes from the Greater Pittston area. The painting will be placed above the Inspiration Mural on the side of the Newrose Building on South Main Street.
Those featured include:
• First Lt. Jeffrey DePrimo, of West Pittston, who died in 2008 while serving in Afghanistan;
• Capt. T.J. Hromisin, of Pittston, who was critically wounded while serving in Iraq;
• Virginia Beach police officer Rodney F. Pocceschi, a Pittston Area grad who died in the line of duty in 2003;
• Lt. Col. Richard Berrettini, formerly of Dupont, who died in 2008 after sustaining injuries while serving in Afghanistan;
• Specialist Dale Kridlo, of Hughestown, who died in 2010 while serving in Afghanistan;
• Pennsylvania State Trooper Joshua Miller, who was killed in the line of duty in 2009;
• Pittston fire Captain John F. Lombardo and West Pittston firefighter and assistant foreman Leonard Insalaco II, who died while fighting a blaze in 1993;
• Pennsylvania State Trooper Robert Lombardo, of Pittston, who was shot and wounded during a confrontation in 2009, the same in which Miller died.
Dale Kridlo, Cpl. Kridlo’s father, had the opportunity to witness Pilato paint his son and said it’s an honor to know his son will be watching over the local community for years to come.
“I’m thrilled and I’m proud that he’s one of the heroes looking over our town forever,” Al said. “He was a serious soldier and he was proud of what he was doing and he loved what he was doing. I’m happy that’s he’s being honored by Mike Pilato.”
Dale Kridlo was shot and killed in 2010 while serving overseas in Afghanistan.
Pilato also spent time painting at the Inspiration Mural on Main Street and in the Knights of Columbus Post 372 across the street, where he was sheltered from the Thursday rain and had better lighting during the evening hours.
Pilato began painting at 4 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 10 and he was not going to sleep until the vigil was complete.
By the time the Second Friday Art Walk began at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 11, Pilato had been painting for 37 hours. He said he had been running on coffee, Monster energy drinks and Mountain Dew. Despite the lack of sleep, though, he said he loved what he’s been doing.
“It’s awesome and the people who I’ve spoken to have been awesome,” Pilato said.
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher