VIDEO: Naval Park honors Ralph Wilson with new display

May 12, 2017

The Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park has unveiled a new display honoring former Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr.


Wilson rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander, while serving in the U.S. Navy, during World War II. And upon his passing in 2014 he left a gift to the Naval Park. His widow Mary helped unveil the new display which includes Wilson's dress uniform and medals.

"He'd be so honored to be here. When all this happened. And I was at home. His things. I thought what better place for them to be here where Ralph was loved," Wilson said.

During the ceremony, the Naval Park's Executive Director, Captain Brian Roche, made a surprise announcement. 

Mary Wilson gave an emotional speech during the ceremony.
Credit Chris Caya / WBFO News

"To fully express our appreciation, we're announcing that this Friday and every annual Western New York Armed Forces Week thereafter will now be known as "LCDR Ralph C. Wilson Day" at the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park. On that day, admission will be free to honor his legacy," Roche said.  

"I am so excited to hear about Ralph Wilson Day here. And, what a great tribute to a great man. Thank you," Wilson said.  

During his remarks, Mayor Byron Brown proclaimed May 11, 2017, as Lt. Commander Ralph C. Wilson Day in Buffalo.