Saturday, August 22, 2015

WWII Vet Irv Abramson and wife Doris celebrate their 68th!

Monday's Chicago Tribune on page 5 of Section 4, the Arts-Entertainment section, featured this photograph and happy announcement in the CELEBRATIONS Section honoring the couple's achievement.

Irv was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge and his very interesting memoir of service can be read and heard via the library's website  and then by clicking on the World War II Europe  tab on the left.   

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dublin Airport Appeal to honor Patrick Gallagher, USMC, Viet Nam Hero

A follower of this blog supplied a photo of this electronic display in the hallway of  the departure gates for American flights at Dublin Airport. Passengers are requested to sign an online petition at  to honor the heroic  Irish immigrant from Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo. The petition requests the Secretary of Navy to have a United States Navy ship named for  Cpl Patrick "Bob" Gallagher on the 50th Anniversary of his death.

The following background and further details are provided at the above link.

  In July 1966, while other members of his unit slept, enemy fighters infiltrated the area, and on approaching his unit's position they threw grenades in on top of his squad. "Four of them had been manning a defense post at Cam Lo near the border with North Vietnam, when it was attacked by Communist forces. Patrick kicked a grenade out of their position before it exploded and, as the citation for the Navy Cross he was later awarded read, "another enemy grenade followed and landed in the position between two of his comrades. Without hesitation, in a valiant act of self-sacrifice, Corporal Gallagher threw himself upon the deadly grenade in order to absorb the explosion and save the lives of his comrades.

       "As the three other marines ran to safety two further grenades landed in the position and exploded, "miraculously injuring nobody". Patrick's squad leader ordered him to throw the grenade he was lying on into a nearby river. It exploded on hitting the water. "Through his extraordinary heroism and inspiring valor in the face of almost certain death, he saved his comrades from probable injury and possible loss of life," the citation continued. 

        "It is a pleasure to pin this on your breast," said Gen Westmoreland, commander of all US  forces in Vietnam, at the awards ceremony there. It is said that Patrick was told at the time that the only reason the military authorities decided to award Patrick the Navy Cross, and not the US forces' highest honor the Congressional Medal of Honor, was only that “the grenade had not exploded and killed him… if it had, he would have certainly been a shoe-in”. 

       Only months after receiving this prestigious Award, Patrick was killed in action in Vietnam.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

University of Wisconsin Scientists to find MIA remains

"A group of Madison-based scientists is forming a team to find the remains of long-lost World War II veterans and bring them home for proper burial," writes Steven Verburg in the May 15 issue of the Wisconsin State Journal at this link.

                                     Josh Hyman, director of the UW-Madison DNA Sequencing Facility 
Photos by M.P. KING — State Journal

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

2015 VFW Post 7712 Memorial Day Observance at the Niles Waterfall

Color Guard leads off as rain holds off.

Historic plaque and wreaths, St. Hedwig Orphanage was located to the immediate west of the waterfall at the intersection of Harlem and Touhy.
Presiding VFW Post Commander, Tom Amarante  and Chaplain Chris Hanusiak (President of the Friends of the Niles Public Library) look on as Deputy Police Chief Vince Genualdi delivers his well-chosen remarks. Commander Amarante later spoke of the tragic number of suicides befalling veterans and emphasized that "Freedom Is not Free, and freedom will never be free." The uniformed Bette Horstman, who would lay a rose in honor of the fallen, Chuck Jacobs, and Matthew Wojtaszek were among the World War II veterans present. Bette, Chuck and Matthew are participants in the Veterans History Project.

Chicago Tribune May 24 article on the "Remarkable Woman - Mary Pettinato," Chicago's Honor Flight CEO

The Sunday LifeStyle Section story by Jennifer Weigel on page 6 profiled  Chicago's Mary Pettinato who co-founded the Honor Flight Chicago. Mary is pictured with Irv Abramson who made the Honor Flight to Washington, D.C.  Mr. Abramson is also participant in the national Veterans History Project through the Niles Public Library. His interview can be read and heard via the library's web site.

The Honor Flight Chicago  salutes WWII vets with the trip of a lifetime to Washington.  Applications are available through the Honor Flight website.


Irv Abramson and Mary Pettinato appear in photograph taken by
Chuck Berman for the Tribune Newspapers.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Ann Bausum's "Stubby the War Dog" Wins Local Literary Prize

The Society of Midland Authors announced their annual awards at their yearly banquet on Friday, May 1, 2015, at Chicago's Cliff Dwellers Club at 220 S. Michigan Blvd.

Ann's "True Story of World War I's Bravest Dog" won the Children's Nonfiction Award. Published by National Geographic in 2014,the 72-page book can be checked out from the shelves of the Niles Public Library's 1st floor Kidspace Collection at J 636.7 B351st.


Ann Bausum also published with National Geographic an adult version of  239 pages which can be checked out from the 3rd floor
shelves at 940.41273 B351se.