Wall a dream of Jim Carlascio, former POWThe 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is reserved for remembering military veterans and their service to the country. Veterans Day typically includes American flags, a bugle corps and a recognition ceremony. Schools and some businesses close. Others have sales.
By: Katie Ryan, The Jamestown Sun
The Jamestown Sun
The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is reserved for remembering military veterans and their service to the country.
Veterans Day typically includes American flags, a bugle corps and a recognition ceremony. Schools and some businesses close. Others have sales.
“We need to take this one day a year to remember what veterans have done to make our way of life as easy as it is,” said Leroy Wegenast, Vietnam veteran and president of the All-Vets Club.
But for many veterans, remembering isn’t limited to one day.
One World War II veteran thinks about his service and the sacrifices of both him and his family all the time.
But it doesn’t make it easier.
Jim Carlascio, who was drafted into the Army at age 18, fought on the front lines in Italy and was captured and held as a prisoner of war, still gets emotional when he thinks about his brother Joey, the baby of the family.
Joey died serving in the Pacific Theater.
“Mother — she turned gray overnight,” he said.
Carlascio’s older brother, Tony, fought in the war too, serving in the European Theater.
The family’s patriotism stems from Carlascio’s father, an Italian immigrant who taught his seven children about the freedoms and opportunities on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. He was bred to love his country, he said.
“You get it in here,” he said, pointing to his 83-year-old heart, “and you can’t control it.”
And if the military would let him, Carlascio said he’d do it all over.
“I’d do anything for this country. Absolutely, I’d do it again,” he said.
Today, Carlascio visits school classrooms to tell his story and nursing homes and churches to deliver candy and make sure veterans know they aren’t forgotten, said Charlie Kourajian, a veteran of the Korean War.
For 20 years, Carlascio dreamed of building a Veterans Memorial Wall, to honor, recognize and remember all veterans and in particular, the state’s Medal of Honor recipients, prisoners of war and Stutsman County’s service members killed in action.
That wall, which was constructed at Fort Seward, was dedicated on July 4.
“He was very tireless in his efforts to get that veterans memorial and the veterans wall put up,” said Dale Marks, who was part of the wall’s planning committee.
The wall memorializes 19 Medal of Honor recipients from North Dakota, 152 prisoners of war and 168 from Stutsman County killed in action.
But to remember veterans today, Wegenast said a simpler showing of appreciation will do.
“Simply recognize a veteran and offer them a gracious thanks for their service to the country,” he said.
Sun reporter Katie Ryan can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org