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A Veterans Day story and removing statues

Malia Bundt, John Schnepp and Dominic Cutalo, Army

Malia Bundt, John Schnepp and Dominic Cutalo, Army veterans from VFW Post 9263 (Elwood and Commack), at the Town of Huntington's Veterans Day ceremony at town hall on Sunday. Credit: Raychel Brightman

Family stories show why it’s a special day

My young grandsons asked me to tell them a true story about World War II. I explained how my father and his older brother enlisted in the Army after the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

My father had completed his military training as a gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, and was to be deployed to combat in Europe in October 1944. His brother was stationed in the Pacific and took part in the largest U.S. naval action ever fought.

My uncle Rosario gave his life for our country during the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October 1944. Because of his sacrifice, my father, George, was pulled from his deployment in Europe because of the sole survivor policy and served the rest of the war stateside.

The B-17 crew that my father trained with was sent to England. Their Flying Fortress, on its first mission, was shot down over Germany, and every crew member died.  

My grandchildren learned a valuable lesson. On Nov. 11, Veterans Day, we all should reflect on the many thousands of men and women who gave up their lives to protect our freedom from oppression.

— William J. Raniolo, East Setauket

My father fought in Germany and France during World War II. When he returned to the States after the war, he carried a prayer that meant a lot to him and his fellow soldiers.

It applies on this Veterans Day just as it did eight decades ago: "May God bless and protect our military who keep us safe every day."

— Jennifer Bohnak, Merrick

Ponder this before removing statues

I see the Thomas Jefferson statue is leaving the New York City Council chamber of City Hall, and read other "cancel culture" stories ["Statue’s move shows shift in NYC racial politics," Opinion, Oct. 21]. When I read them, I invariably think of this, the words of a wise man: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

— Doug Augenthaler, Glen Head

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