With the number of surviving World War II veterans falling daily, a member of the West Seneca Veterans Committee wants to ensure the town’s “Greatest Generation” isn’t forgotten.
“This is a generation that we should never forget,” said Jim Manley, an Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War whose late father, Richard, had served with the Army Signal Corps in North Africa during World War II. “If it weren’t for them, our country wouldn’t be as great as it is today.”
Manley has dusted off the long-forgotten war service records of the era collected by Frank J. Lankes, the town’s late historian. They include postcards providing the basics – name, rank, branch and theater of operations, for instance – that became part of municipal records, as well as supplemental information that Lankes gathered from news clippings and the like.
Beginning in February, Manley has been poring over the existing documents, and “translating” the acronyms into plain English. He learned, for example, that a soldier’s assignment to AAA meant automatic weapons.
He’s made it through one-quarter of the alphabet. Though he’s got a lot of work ahead of him, Manley plans to post online what he’s already done, so that friends or relatives of those veterans whose last names begin with letters A through F may contribute additional information.
Also this week:
• A Town Board work session begins at 3 p.m. Monday in Council Chambers at Town Hall, 1250 Union Road. A regular meeting follows at 7 p.m.
• Southtowns Family YMCA, at 1620 Southwestern Blvd., is celebrating its 10th birthday with community events and a special deal on memberships through the end of September. For more information and a schedule of events, call the Southtowns YMCA at 674-9622 or visit ymcabuffaloniagara.org.
• Registration closes Sept. 23 for the Oct. 5 baked pie contest that is part of the Burchfield Nature & Art Center’s Fall Festival. There is a $5 entry fee and contestants are limited to two pies. Visit www.burchfieldnac.org to download a registration form, or stop by the center at 2001 Union Road.
• The Adaptive Recreation Expo for Western New York will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Buffalo Niagara Court Center, 425 Meyer Road. The event, which will showcase recreation opportunities for children and adults of all abilities, is open to families, service providers, potential volunteers and other interested persons.