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From Judy Rose, May 27 2002 
Memorial Day in Blacklick Valley, 2002

Memorial Day in Blacklick Valley this year was commemorated with ceremonies at several locations. Above, at the war memorial just below the old high school on Chestnut Street, Nanty Glo, veterans Joseph Kasecky, left, and Richard Ondriezek, center, ceremony organizers, are joined in full dress uniform by Arthur Price, 91-year-old Marine Corps veteran, right. Price served Nanty Glo for many years as mayor and, before that, a councilman. Kasecky, 83, is a World War II Army veteran and was a member of the D-Day invasion force, fought at Utah Beach, and later under Gen. George Patton. "I've been honoring my comrades here for 58 years," he said. He was seriously wounded and spent many months in the hospital.

Ondriezek, 79, a veteran of World War II service with the U.S. Navy in the Pacific theater, where he was a medical corpsman at Evacuation Hospital # 1 on the island of Iwo Jima. "We sent 3,700 wounded men off Iwo Jima," he said. He himself was wounded, but not seriously, on the ankle. "I've been serving as Nanty Glo VFW chaplain for 50 years," he told the Home Page reporter. Price made a small speech.

A crowd of 20 to 25 gathered for the 11 a.m. service at the Veteran's Park under sunny skies and summerlike temperatures. Several other speakers gave patriotic speeches of five to 10 minutes. A memorial wreath (shown below left) was placed at the memorial by Lillian Bober, local Gold Star Mother. (A Gold Star mother is one who lost a child in combat) Taps were played hauntingly in the distance and there was a gun salute.

In Blacklick Township, veterans conducted a small parade and ceremonies in Belsano.

Related page: Valley's World War II Casualties

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© Jon Kennedy 2002