The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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May 10, 2013

Readers' Forum 5-10 | Their stories need to be told

— Many of you read in The Tribune-Democrat and viewed on local television stations on May 3 the celebration of Virgil Faust’s 68th anniversary of being liberated from a Nazi prison camp.

Three other prisoners of war also were recognized – Joseph Condon, Karl Roof and Lyhle Kline.

These four men reside in Cambria and Blair counties. It was an honor to be in the presence of these heroes.

One may read about the experiences of the members of “The Greatest Generation,” but to have the experience to learn firsthand the “rest of the story” is truly a humbling experience.

After talking with the gentlemen, specifically Virgil, I wondered how we could get their stories out to students today. Young people need to understand what individuals like Virgil, Joseph, Karl and Lyhle, and all others serving in World War II, sacrificed for our freedom.

Virgil was in Stalag 17, and it wasn’t like the TV series. Anyone interested in developing an educational program that would include the history, firsthand accounts of  POW experiences, postwar effects on their lives, etc., would keep alive what Tom Brokaw wrote about this Greatest Generation.

The Presbyterian Home of Greater Johnstown was honored to be able to coordinate this celebration.

Donna B. Cauffiel

Johnstown

Mixed signals from Democratic candidate

I was appalled at a Democratic Party rally at Ace’s on April 18 to hear Democratic Councilman William Gentile make an impromptu speech concerning how Democrats should support Democrats.

His comment basically said that it wasn’t Republicans who put Republican county commissioners in office, it was Democrats. And even more important, he said, it wasn’t Republicans who cost us our local representation in Congress, but Democrats who voted for a Sewickley Heights resident.

He went on to say that Democrats needed to support their own.

The surprise was that these comments were coming from a person who, along with fellow Democratic Councilman Pete Vizza and Mayor Thomas Trigona, had just recently voted for a Republican to fill a vacancy on city council.

Not only did they vote several times for a Republican, but they then petitioned the Cambria County court to put a Republican into the vacant council seat.

I guess what Gentile has to say depends on the audience.

Democrats need to remember this when voting in the primary on May 21 and consider what ties Gentile and Vizza may have and what side they really are on.

Tashua McCrommon

Johnstown

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