To the Editor:
On Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the USA entered World War II. Two days later I had my seventh birthday. At the time I had three brothers and four sisters. I didn’t know what Pearl Harbor was or what it meant to be in a world war. Within a year or so, all of my brothers had been drafted into the military services. I didn’t know what that meant either, just that they were gone. Until the war was over I would not be able to know my brothers.
In July of 1944, at 9 years old, something else happened that I would never forget. My mother received a telegram and started screaming and crying wildly; my oldest brother Gennaro “Jerry” Salvio had been killed in Italy. Soon after, my mother received a small “Gold Star” flag which was hung in the front window of our house. I guess that made the rest of the family a Gold Star family. My mother’s terrible experiences were not over; in November of the same year my sister Elvera died of Lupus. She had recently been married.
Five years later in 1949 that awful memory would be revisited; brother Jerry’s body arrived home from Italy. Interment would be here in the USA. One of my brother’s best friends, Joe Menditto, came over to visit my mother. Joe and Jerry had entered the Army together in 1942; after basic training they were separated. Quite surprisingly, they ended up in Italy at the same time; they were in different companies and would meet in Florence. They were able to visit once but when Joe tried to see Jerry again, a few days later, my brother had been killed that morning. Joe Menditto was the last person from New Britain to see Jerry alive. His visit to my mother was very important to my mother and finally brought some comfort to my mother that a friend had seen Jerry just before his death.
The reason for my writing this letter should be obvious by now; I was appalled the unintelligent comments leveled at President Trump by U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson. To her the president’s words were not appropriate when offering solace to the wife of a fallen soldier when he called the wife.
In rebutting her comments, Chief of Staff, John Kelly showed what an insensitive and disgraceful person is Rep. Wilson. Sad that such a person represents the people of the USA!