Five Members of the Greatest Generation Honored At Charity Golf Event

By at October 6, 2011 | 10:06 am | Print

Five distinguished members of the “Greatest Generation” – all citizens of New Britain and World War II vets who have spent a lifetime raising families and making their lives in the Hardware City following their service to the country, were honored Saturday at a ceremonial tee off prior to a charity golf tournament benefitting area veterans.

The Golden Kielbasa Veterans Open takes place this Saturday at Timberlin Golf Club in Berlin. At 11:30 a.m., the five veterans – who are all still active and range in age from 87 to 95 – will step off a courtesy shuttle provided by New Britain’s Dattco Bus Company. Following the singing of the National Anthem by New Britain vocalist Judy Adolewski-Lentini, the five gentlemen will be introduced, escorted to the tee box, and will take a swing on behalf of their fellow patriots. Some 100 golfers, family and friends are expected.

“We are losing members of the Greatest Generation at a rate of more than 1,000 per day,” said Tournament Director Dennis Buden. “Were it not for the self-sacrifice of men and women like these some 70 years ago, we would undoubtedly be living in a very different country. Now is the time to honor these heroes while we have still the chance.”

Saturday’s honorees included:

  • Francis “Chet” Giorgetti, 95, who was a Private First Class/Corporal in the U.S. Army’s 119th Infantry from 1942-1945. Giorgetti was born in Italy, has lived in New Britain since 1952 and served in the European Theater during World War II. Giorgetti was a long-time circulation manager for The Hartford Courant, retiring in 1980.
  • Eugene “Gene” Leganza, 87, who was a Machinist Mate, 2nd Class, in the U.S. Navy from 1943-1946, serving on the USS Gregory destroyer in the South Pacific. Leganza was born and raised in New Britain, and worked at Fafnir Bearing Co. in the city for more than 30 years.
  • Leo Piccoli, 94, who was a Sargent and cook in the U.S. Army from 1943-1947, serving stateside. Born in Meriden, Piccoli has lived in New Britain since 1923, when he was 6 years old. Piccoli also made a career at Fafnir, working there some 39 years as a set-up man on a grinding machine.
  • Andrew “Andy” Symecko, 90, who was a Motor Machinist Mate, 3rd Class on the U.S.S. Cero Gato-class submarine, which engaged in attacks on enemy convoys throughout the South Pacific as part of the American “Wolfpack” patrol. Symecko, a New Britain native, spent his life working for the City’s Water Department and was also a part-owner of Broadway Service Station on Washington Street.
  • Alexander “Al” Wojtera, 91, who was a Seaman, 1st class on the U.S. Navy’s YMS 383 Minesweeper. Wojtera worked at Fafnir for more than 30 years as a tool and die maker, is presently Chaplain for the VFW Post #511 in New Britain, and is a past commander of the Catholic War Veterans.

“What is remarkable, to me, about these men is that they are quite unremarkable in so many ways – except for the fact that they, like others at the time, did a truly heroic thing when they were young: they chose to serve their country during a period of great strife and uncertainty,” said Buden. “If you ask them they would no doubt say they did nothing special. I beg to differ.”

Some 80 players are registered for the event, hosted by the Northwestern Veterans, T.G.M. Memorial Post in New Britain. Proceeds will benefit the Hardware City Chapter of the Disabled American Veterans, as well as the purchase of American flags for gravesite display on Veterans and Memorial Days in New Britain’s Fairview Cemetery. Following golf, 150 people or more are expected at a BBQ at the VFW Post 511 in New Britain. A 6 p.m. ceremony will include the New Britain High School Jr. ROTC color guard, the Pledge of Allegiance, the playing of taps, and remarks by Mayor Timothy Stewart of New Britain and local DAV Commander Ron Pelletier.

Complete tournament information is available at www.goldenkielbasa.org. Gold Sponsor of the event is Schaller Auto World. Other major sponsors include Ericson, Scalise & Mangan, the VFW Post 511 Men’s Auxiliary, Guida’s Dairy, Sir Speedy Printing, Sign Pro of New Britain, the Oaks Club, RSL Fiber Systems, LLC, Dattco Bus Company and Dr. William Petit.

The Northwestern Veterans, T.G.M. Memorial Post is a 501(c)(19) non-profit veterans organization. The Post, founded in 1945, honors the memory of New Britain World War II heroes Stanley T. Todzia, Edward J. Giramonti and Francis J. Majewski.

 

.News Feature

Related Posts

Comments are closed.