The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


November 27, 2013

‘A Walk Through World War II’ | History program will feature one-of-a-kind artifacts, memorabilia

JOHNSTOWN — An upcoming event will allow the community to relive history.

Greater Johnstown School District, with the support of the Greater Johnstown School District Alumni Association, will sponsor a living history program titled “A Walk Through World War II” at 7 p.m. Dec. 5 at Greater Johnstown High School’s Cochran Auditorium, 222 Central Ave.

The program will be presented by Jerry Bellak of Davidsville and Kurt Shorts of Hollsopple.

The display will feature Bellak’s and Shorts’ personal collections and one-of-a-kind artifacts and memorabilia from World War II, including uniforms, helmets, firearms, flags, medals and badges.

During the event, Greater Johnstown High School students will be dressed in military uniforms worn during the war.

In addition, military vehicles from the U.S. Army Reserve on St. Clair Road in Johnstown will be parked outside near the auditorium.

“These two (Bellak and Shorts) love World War II history and want to share it with other people,” said Darren Buchko, director of alternative and innovative programs for the school district.

“It’s really overwhelming what they have to offer.”

There is no fee to attend the program.

A special presentation will be held on Dec. 5 for Greater Johnstown High School students.

Bellak said he and Shorts have put on similar programs at Conemaugh Township Area High School and Windber Area High School, and people who come to the presentation get to see and touch items that they might never have had an opportunity to experience.

“They get to see things they will remember, and it’s brought tears to veterans’ eyes,” he said.

Buchko believes the event will be a good way to show appreciation to veterans for their service to the country.

“It’s a chance for younger and older generations to come together and share history,” he said.

Kelly Urban is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at


What: “A Walk Through World War II.”

When: 7 p.m. Dec. 5.

Where: Greater Johnstown High School’s Cochran Auditorium, 222 Central Ave.

Admission: Free.

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