War and Remembrance program sparks connections between generations


Make text smaller Make text larger



Photos



  • Photos provided Korean War vets Ed Olearo and Ed Nolan explain their wartime experiences.




  • Vietnam War vets Fred Gould and Pat Loughman speak to US History students.




  • Students listen attentively to vets Don Fantasia and Bill Johnson.



“What’s a C-Ration?” asked a tentative freshman at West Milford High School, as Korean War vets shared their wartime experiences. Ed Olearo, in describing the foods included in the “C-Ration,” explained that he lost 20 pounds during his time in service. The students additionally enjoyed Olearo’s description of the “girl back home,” with whom he shared his 62nd wedding anniversary recently.

These questions, and the connections forged between students and veterans, came during West Milford’s second annual hosting of a program entitled “War and Remembrance” in June. First sponsored by high school teacher Jennifer Metcalf, the History Department has forged ahead, providing growing audiences for local vets. Teacher Bruce Bialkin remarked that the camaraderie between Iraq War veteran Donald Fantasia and Vietnam War vet Bill Johnson was palpable in the room. Similarly, US II teacher Mandy Mock’s students were fascinated by Vietnam veteran Pat Loughman who carried his helmet and other artifacts into classrooms.

In one poignant moment, after Olearo had shared stories of his bond with a young Korean soldier, freshman Matthew Heusser connected with Olearo, explaining that his grandfather, who recently died, had earned a Purple Heart for his service in Vietnam. Unexpected relationships were forged throughout the day, as students and staff stopped to shake hands with veterans Glenn Wenzel, Ed Nolan, and Fred Gould.

The day culminated with a POW-MIA ceremony hosted by Vietnam veteran Gould, saluted by the West Milford High School band’s performance of “Amazing Grace” with the signature bag pipers. Local veterans who wish to participate next June should contact Metcalf at jennifer.metcalf@wmtps.org, or go through the local American Legion or VFW organizations.

- Jennifer Metcalf

Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments

Pool Rules



MUST READ NEWS

Healthy You 2018





Read more »
Image

Republic made it just fine without FBI, CIA
Dear Editor of The Messenger,
In your Viewpoints section of the Jan. 12 issue of The Messenger you carried speeches by Martin Luther King and...

Read more »

Trump is no supporter of parks
To the Editor:
After signing a petition to protect our national parks, I received a reply from Donald Trump (or his office). Here are some...

Read more »

Keeping open space fund intact benefits town, taxpayers
To the Editor:
As a West Milford taxpayer, I read with interest the article and subsequent letter by Paul Zarillo regarding the recent open...

Read more »

VIDEOS



* indicates required
Community Newspapers


MOST READ

Obituaries
Edward S. Bachorik
  • Jan 12, 2018
Obituaries
George “Kenezo” Smirgadis
  • Jan 17, 2018
Local News
PBA to donate sign for Veterans Park
  • Jan 18, 2018
Local News
Red, White and Blue Jay
  • Jan 18, 2018

MOST COMMENTED



West Milford, NJ