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

MUST READ NEWS

Image 'Mr. D' is looking for a loving home
Valentine's Day has come and gone but a loving companion and friend could be waiting for you at the West Milford Animal...
Image Hands In 4 Youth has new life
Hands in 4 Youth, a non-profit organization which provides enriching summer camp experiences to young people, announced this...
Alfred H. Ortolani
Alfred H. Ortolani of Ringwood passed away on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. He was 86.
Beloved husband of Doris M. (Bollinger) Ortolani and son of the late Anna and Alfredo...
Image A celebration of peace
The Lions Club sponsored its annual Lions International Peace Poster/Essay Contest. Macopin Middle School winner was Amanda...

VIDEOS


Sign up to get our newsletter emailed to you every week!

  • Enter your email address in the box below.
  • Select the newsletters you would like to subscribe to.
  • Click the 'SUBSCRIBE' button.

Comments

Pool Rules



MOST COMMENTED



West Milford, NJ