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Memorial Day programs dedicated in honor of the area veterans

| Saturday, May 21, 2011

Area communities are preparing for Memorial Day Services.

In Perryopolis, the Perry Township VFW Gold Star Post 7023 and American Legion Post 752 will conduct the Memorial Day Service at 10 a.m. at the Frazier High School auditorium.

The program will begin with the playing of the National Anthem by the Frazier High School/Middle School Band directed by Rod Staggers.

Boy Scout Troop 625 and Scoutmaster John Snyder; Cadet Troop 54078 with leaders Dana Boyd and Lorri Clem; and Cub Scout Pack 626 and Pack Leader Lisa Maurer will recite the "Pledge of Allegiance" with the audience. The invocation will be given by Pastor Ed Arbogast of the First Christian Church, Perryopolis.

Peter P. Pierotti, chairman of the Memorial Day Program Committee, will give brief remarks followed by Robert Chuboy, commander of VFW Post 7023 delivering the welcoming address.

Norman L. Zimmerman, commander of American Legion Post 752, will introduce the dignitaries attending the services. Zimmerman will present the Patriotic Buglers Service Award to Emily Sue Cowen and Francis E. Miller III.

John Cernuska, auditor of VFW Post 7023, will present the Patriotic Flag Raising Award to the following volunteer flag raisers: Frazier High School/Frazier Middle School, Jesse Linders-Heck, and Russell Potter; Perry Elementary, Khristyne Barch, Lane Rice, Candace Dacules and James Kulwicki; and Central Elementary, Sage Encapera, Jordan Sawyers, Anthony Strickler and Ryan Toth.

Teachers Donna Clark, Susan Guiser and Mary Kay Toth are commended for their dedication to this program.

Christina C. Babyak and Meghan L. McWilliams, Frazier Middle School students, are the co-winners of the Patriots Pen contest "Does Patriotism Still Matter?" They will be presented their awards by Richard Timko, lieutenant-commander USNR (retired). The awards are sponsored by the VFW and its Ladies Auxiliary.

Pierotti will then introduce the post's Voice of Democracy contest winner, James S. Novobilsky, a Frazier High School student, who will present his oration titled "Does My Generation Have a Role in America's Future?" Next, members of the Frazier band will perform patriotic musical selections under the direction of Staggers.

James C. Falbo will be the keynote speaker. He is a 1969 graduate of Frazier High School and served 22 years in the U.S. Navy in the engineering departments on various nuclear powered submarines in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Falbo earned a bachelor of science degree from Excelsior College while serving on instructor duty in New York. He retired as a master chief petty officer, after serving his final two years as chief of the boat on a Trident Nuclear Fleet Ballistic Missle Submarine.

Falbo's military awards include two Navy Commendation Medals, two Navy Achievement Medals, an Expeditionary Medal, three Battle "E" Ribbons, five Good Conduct Medals, two National Defense Service Medals, two Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, an SSBN Deterrent Patrol Pin with two silver stars and an Enlisted Submarine Breast Insignia.

Falbo resides with his wife Shirley in Perryopolis and currently serves as quartermaster for Perry Township VFW Gold Star Post 7023.

At the conclusion of Falbo's speech, Staggers will present a Memorial Day video.

Following the video Tony Fao, co-chairman of the program committee, will memorialize comrades who passed away in 2010 and 2011 by reading their names and then pausing for a moment of silence in their honor. The following veterans will be honored: James Beadling Jr., Bernard J. Chorba, Anthony "Jeep" Ciliberti, Cary Clem, Clifford E. Cumberland, Charles "Jack" Daniels, John E. Emricko Sr., Jerome A. Farkus, Frederic Feldman, Garry G. Gibson, Roy A. Giovannelli, George W. Gordon, James Hazy, Charles Hela, Wayne A. Keebler, James F. Knight, Michael Kutska, William E. Lawson, Robert E. Layton, John Leiber, George "Sparky" Lesho,Lawrence E. Matty, Stanley H. Mellinger, James "Bubba" Miller, Lodovico "Lud" Muccioli, Robert E. Nevel, James T. Newmeyer, Altha L. Powell, Barry M. Rimel Sr., Timothy D. Rossell, Allen C. Seich, Joseph A. Smetanka, Harry Stuckslager Sr., Thomas D. Thompson, John Valosen, Daniel D. Wilson, Patrick "Jay" Winn and Charles J. Yocum.

Lay minister Ross Ackincloss will give the benediction.

The services will then continue at the honor roll adjacent to the school. Mike Vindivich, lay speaker, will give the memorial and dedication prayer. Boy Scout Troop 625 will raise the American flag and lower it to half-staff and place wreaths at the honor roll.

The ceremonial firing squad, under the direction of Fao and under the command of Thomas Glawinsky and George Timko, will fire the traditional salute for fallen comrades. Ending the tribute will be the playing of "Taps" by the Frazier Band buglers Cowen and Miller.

The Perryopolis program is being dedicated in honor of the veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.


The Rev. Richard Schimansky, a veteran of the Iraq War, will be the guest speaker at Memorial Day services in Vanderiblt. The services are being sponsored by the Emery Lewis Pratt American Legion Post 586.

Schimansky served in Operation Desert Storm.

Services will be held at the following locations: 9:15 a.m., Dawson Bridge; 9:30 a.m., Catholic cemetery; 10 a.m., Flatwoods cemetery; and 11 a.m., Dickerson Run cemetery.

The community choir will perform at the services. Area veterans are welcome to participate.


Norvelt will be holding a Memorial Day program at 9:30 a.m. Monday in front of the Roosevelt Hall Honor Roll.

Master of Ceremonies will be District Judge Roger Eckels.

The guest speaker will be Gene Calabrase, a Mt. Pleasant native, who served as 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

Calabrase served with the Pennsylvania National Guard from 1949 to 1951.

He attended the Infantry Leadership School in Ft. Riley, Kansas and graduated from Armored Officers Candidate School in 1952.

He then served in the 31st Infantry Division, the 2nd Infantry Division and the 72nd Tank Brigade in 1953. He served in the final winter, spring and summer campaigns of the Korean War. He returned home shortly after the Korean War cease fire to begin college.

He is a 1958 graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Duquesne University where he received a Master's degree in 1964.

He completed additional graduate studies at California State University, Penn State University and Case-Western Reserve in Ohio.

His professional resume includes speech therapist, school and clinical psychologist, pupil personnel administrator at Westmoreland Intermediate Unit, Hempfield Area School District, Penn State Continuing Education, Latrobe Hospital Mental Health Clinic and Mayview State Hospital.

Calabrase also served on Westmoreland County Mental Health, Mental Retardation Board and Westmoreland County Children's Bureau Advisory Board.

He is a member of the Mt. Pleasant American Legion where he served as adjutant and the executive board and honor guard.


Hecla will be having a Memorial Day Service and tribute at the honor roll with a firing squad and Taps in Southwest at 10:30 a.m. May 30.

Flags will also be available for purchase.

A booklet of historical remembrances of Hecla's honor roll is available with a donation to the Veterans of Hecla Memorial Fund, Inc. A free luncheon will be held.

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