A new memorial was unveiled at Kopcinski Park on 19th Street and Broadway dedicated to longtime Bayonne civic leader, Frank Perrucci, and the group he founded in 1970, the Concerned Citizens of Bayonne. Perrucci died on December 27, 2018. The memorial is the final act of the group that has been an important part of the civic life of Bayonne for the past 49 years.
The memorial, unveiled on November 22, is a striking white column with the names of Mr. Perrucci and the Concerned Citizens running up the sides. Perrucci’s widow, Jean, said they wanted to erect something different. They did not want to put up a plaque on the side of a building or something similar. She said the memorial is “beautiful,” and she is sure that her husband of 68 years would appreciate it.
It’s fitting that the memorial is in a park dedicated to another veteran, Lance Corporal Stanley Kopcinski. Perrucci was a veteran of World War Two, serving in the Merchant Marines and U.S. Army. He was very active in veterans’ organizations, serving in every position in the Catholic War Veterans Post #1612. He was twice chairman of the Bayonne Memorial Day parade committee and marched in more than 65 parades. He was also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #226, the Disabled American Veterans, F.A. Mackenzie Post, American Legion and the Wounded Warrior Project, among other groups.
Perrucci founded the Concerned Citizens in connection with a run he made for city council in 1970. He lost that election, but the city won big because the Concern Citizens did a great deal for Bayonne in the ensuing five decades. Its motto was “We care, do you?” and the members did care about a whole host of issues affecting Bayonne from crime to development to senior citizens to simply helping people get through life. The organization ran toy drives, sponsored sports teams, awarded scholarships, helped the poor, and performed many other good deeds. It made Bayonne a more friendly, livable place. The group was so active that it was rare to pick up a Bayonne Community News and not see a picture of Perrucci and members of the group doing something to help someone.
Perrucci and the Concerned Citizens are now gone, but Jean Perrucci feels that there is a part of her husband there on 19th Street still looking out over Bayonne trying to see how he and the Concerned Citizens can help.