Photographs by Saranda Belica

General Eddi Zyko was honored inside Waterbury City Hall yesterday morning as the Kosovo Mayor for the Day. The General is pictured here with his wife Paulette, and the couple have four children, Erin, Eileen, Emily and Eddi Jr.. 

The majority of Kosovo is made up of ethnic Albanians, and the tradition and culture is Albanian.

General Zyko has been a practicing attorney for over 30 years. He litigated in all Connecticut and many other state and federal trial and appellate courts, as well as many administrative agencies.

In a scene straight out of the Broadway play Les Miserables, the beat of freedom pulsates through the Kosovo community.

 In addition to the mayor for the day honors, the day was matrked by a celebration commemorating Kosovo’s 5th year of independence.

Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary touted General Zyko in his introduction.

Xhevat Limani, an actor and writer from Macedonia, performed a war story monologue in Albanian. Photograph by Gerry Reyes

Traditional clothing from Kosovo was on full display yesterday inside Waterbury City Hall during a celebration of Brigadier General Eddi Zyko being named Kosovo Mayor for the Day. Zyko and other ethnic mayors for the day will be honored at The Gathering on May 18th, a citywide celebration of diversity with a ethnic themed parade, music, food and dance from around the world. This image was captured by Gerry Reyes. Any questions, please contact the organizers at

   General Eddi Zyko was born in Waterbury, Connecticut on 15 June 1941. Upon graduation from the University of Connecticut in 1963, he was commissioned a Regular Army second lieutenant of Infantry and awarded a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He also holds a Master of Arts in Political Science and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Connecticut.

   General Zyko’s military education includes completion of the resident Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses as well as the United States Army Command and General Staff College, being the top graduate of his class. On 24 July 1987 he completed the United States Army War College Corresponding Studies Course.

   General Zyko has served in a variety of Command and Staff positions. His most notable early troop assignments were as a rifle, weapons and reconnaissance platoon leader with the 7th Infantry Division in Korea; anti-tank and support platoon leader with the 2d Battalion, 102d Infantry (Connecticut Army National Guard); S-3, Special Troops Battalion, Fort Drum, New York. He has commanded both a Mechanized Infantry Battalion (1st Battalion, 315th Infantry (M), 157th Separate Infantry Brigade (M)) and a Training Battalion (3rd Battalion, 385th Regiment, 2d Brigade (BT), 76th Division (Training)). He was also the Commander, 76th Division (Training) Mobilization Army Training Center, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, during the planning and conduct of Operation ONAWAY EAGLE III, and Commander, 2d Brigade (BT), 76th Division (Training). This was followed by his assignment as Assistant Division Commander, 76th Division (Training). General Zyko was assigned Commander, 157th Separate Infantry Brigade (Mechanized), Horsham, PA on 25 April 1992 — the last major combat unit in the Army Reserve, moving therefrom upon its inactivation to the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) (Standby) and then retirement.

   He has also served in a number of important major staff assignments, including Action Officer with Training Division, Office Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations and Training, Headquarters First U.S. Army, Governors Island, New York; Action Officer, Directorate of Strategy, Plans and Policy, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations and Plans and later Officer in Charge, Chief Army Reserve Management Information Data System Study Group at Headquarters, Department of the Army, Washington, DC; Chief of Protocol, Fort Drum, New York; G-3, 76th Division (Training) and Deputy Chief of Staff, 76th Division (Training). His latest staff duty was as Director, Battle

   Command Training Program, Headquarters, First U.S. Army. Because of his background, he was designated a Foreign Area Officer by the Deputy Chief of Staff Operations and Plans (G-3) , Headquarters, Department of the Army.

   Awards and decorations which General Zyko has received include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal with star, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with one Hour Glass Device, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Expert Infantry Badge and Order of Saint Barbara.
As twice the citizen, General Zyko has been a practicing attorney for over 30 years. He litigated in all Connecticut and many other state and federal trial and appellate courts, as well as many administrative agencies. Experienced in such areas as insurance, civil rights, labor relations, equal opportunity, contracts, business organizations, negligence, real estate, consumer, bankruptcy, criminal, motor vehicle, antitrust, unfair trade practice, products liability, arbitration and mediation. As an attorney, who was a combat arms officer, he has served as a Legislative Consultant to the Reserve Officers’ Association, Washington, DC., being formally cited for “outstanding contribution and assistance in the development of Total Force Legislation”, and has served on special projects as legislative counsel for two Chiefs of Army Reserve.

   General Zyko is an active, Life Member of the Association of the United States Army, Reserve Officers Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars for which he is the Staff Judge Advocate of Post 201 and instrumental in the acquisition of four acres of land from the City of Waterbury, Connecticut to build a large, new Post headquarters building and grounds, University of Connecticut Alumni Association and Sigma Chi Fraternity.

   General Zyko is married to the former Paulette Irene Cunningham. They have three daughters, Erin, Eileen and Emily, as well as one son, Eddi, Jr., USMA, Class of 2001, who was a proud member of the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) during its unprecedented, historical attack from Kuwait to Baghdad in Operation Iraqi Freedom.