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NEWS | Dec. 6, 2023

Coppola Conference Room Dedication

By Luke Graziani Army

In a heartfelt tribute that brought tears and laughter, friends, family, and colleagues gathered at Picatinny Arsenal to commemorate the dedication of the Fred Coppola Conference Room. The ceremony paid homage to the legacy of Fred Coppola, a dedicated and passionate leader who left an indelible mark on the lives of those he touched.

A few speakers approached the podium and recounted stories that exemplified Coppola's character, showcasing his dedication to the military and his commitment to mentoring others. Speakers also recalled Coppola's competitiveness and determination, whether on the football field, in coaching, or his professional endeavors. His dedication to excellence was evident in his insistence on integrity and the desire to contribute positively to the Soldier's experience and the mission's success.

Laura Coppola, Fred's widow, shared her poignant reflections on Fred's life, his unwavering loyalty, and his commitment to his family, friends, and the mission of the U.S. Army. "Fred believed strongly in legacy, the legacy of the good things done for Soldiers, most recently in Soldier Lethality, but also in each of the jobs he had at previous assignments here at Picatinny," she said.

"I will forever be grateful for that day; he came into my life so long ago in a middle school hallway, dressed in plaid pants and a striped shirt,” Laura Coppola expressed, her voice filled with emotion. "There is a saying that the two saddest days for a person are the day they die and the day their name is last spoken. Because of all of you, and this room, Fred's name will be spoken for a very long time."

The conference room dedication is a fitting tribute to a man whose dedication, passion, and legacy will continue to inspire and guide those who carry on the crucial work he left behind. Fred Coppola's contributions to the U.S. Army, his commitment to his colleagues, and his impact on those he touched were celebrated and immortalized in the dedication of a space that will carry his memory forward for years to come.