In marking the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy, News staff reporter Lou Michel wrote a stirring account about John C. Tiranno of Amherst.
Tiranno and other members of the Army’s 83rd Infantry Division landed at Omaha Beach on June 12. Ultimate sacrifices were made in the ensuing battle and Tiranno was seriously wounded, eventually losing his left leg but never his spirit. At 88, he is a shining example of true heroism from a generation that is understandably referred to as “The Greatest.”
As D-Day stories played in the media and surviving soldiers recalled what really lasted much more than a single day, another hero from that time marked the anniversary by doing what he did in June 1944: jumping from a plane. At the ripe age of 93.
Jim “Pee Wee” Martin, of Xenia, Ohio, was part of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division that parachuted down over Utah Beach. After making the ceremonial jump, he indicated that this time it was a lot easier: “It didn’t [compare] because there wasn’t anybody shooting at me today.”
Both men represent sterling role models. They were young when serving this nation. Nurturing today’s youth is the Boy Scouts and in the spirit of that organization, one particular young man was singled out by the Town of Lockport the other day.
Bryan Wojcinski is a Lockport High School senior and Eagle Scout. He was named the Town of Lockport’s outstanding youth of the year and with that honor given a $1,000 scholarship check and a plaque. Kudos to the young man whose Eagle Scout project involved the cleanup and restoration of the high school’s memorial.
Meanwhile, in Amherst, officials are not busy enough with development issues or potholes or traffic. Now there is a push to enact a municipal drone policy.
You know drones. They’re the pilotless aircraft used to obliterate terror suspects in Pakistan, Yemen and other places. But there is pressure to begin using them domestically for other purposes, and private drones in the not-too-far future might be equipped with camera or X-ray specs that will allow them to commit townwide mischief.
Turns out the Federal Aviation Administration is in charge of that decision, but the town is at least thinking about banning the use of drones by the municipality and its contractors. It’s easy to laugh at this but, in truth, as privacy becomes more and more scarce, it’s probably worth thinking about.