WTAJ WEB 1ST: New sign honors World War II veterans

Daily Originals

A new sign dedicated to World War II veterans stands beside the American Legion Post 95 in Brockway.

It’s a list of names of  natives who served in World War II, and replaces an old sign that dated back to the late 1940s or early 50s.

“It was kind of dilapidated when we got it, it was falling apart, so we decided we have to do something with this. It’s part of our heritage,” Post 95 adjutant Donald Salandra said.

A heritage that’s obvious just by taking a step inside the Brockway Legion– photographs and pieces of their history cover the walls.

So it only made sense that Legion members would take on the task of piecing names on the old sign back together.

Treasurer Dave Benson said a lot of luck and hard work went into getting the names right for the new board.

“It was like trying to put together a 5,000 piece jigsaw puzzle together to find out who goes where,” Benson said.

The original sign came from Brockway Glass Plant 1, most of the names are of veterans who worked at the plant.

To make sure the names were spelled correctly, they took a little help from a book written by former newspaper editor and historian Ralph Durbin called Dear Ralph.

It took three months for the new sign to get made, and now stands with 228 names.

However, that’s just a quarter of the veterans who served. Around 900 names could be on the list, and the Legion hopes to keep expanding the sign.

“There are names out there that family members no longer live in the area, but they’ll be remembered because of the signs,” Sergeant-At-Arms for the honor guard John Town said.

“We don’t forget our veterans,” Benson said.

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