Niagara Gazette

Features

May 12, 2014

REMEMBER: Gold Star Moms share memories in new book; signing planned in Lewiston.

Niagara Gazette — Their sons have been dead for more than 40 years. 

Many were teenagers who gave their lives fighting a hellish war on the other side of the earth. Some were battlefield heroes.

Their mothers will never forget the sacrifices their sons made. But now their sons’ stories will live on, thanks to a local author who has documented them in her new book, “Our Sons, Our Heroes.”

Linda Jenkin Costanzo of Clarence never meant to write a book about the Americans who died in Vietnam. She was only 14 when she first started hearing about the young soldiers who gave their lives fighting in America’s most unpopular war.  

“I remember hearing and reading about kids just a few years older than me going off to war and not coming back,” she recalled.

Many years later, during a play at the Theatre of Youth in Buffalo, she sat next to a soft-spoken, white-haired lady. As they were chatting prior to the curtain rising, she learned the mother of four had lost a 19-year-old son in the Vietnam War.

Costanzo, whose twin boys were 11 at the time, couldn’t imagine the pain of losing a son. She wondered what happened to the nearly 60,000 moms who lost children in the Vietnam War. Something told her, “Go find out.” 

That theater conversation led her on a decade-long quest to record some of the stories of the mothers whose children died in Vietnam.  But she couldn’t remember the name of the woman she had sat next to and was left to simply wonder about that family’s story.

Her research garnered 15 stories. She met with mothers from across the country, including one mom from Grand Island, Shirley Luther. Luther’s husband, Laverne or “Bunny” as he was called, was supervisor of Grand Island for eight years.  

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • SUNLIFELexisPlace1072014jpg (1).jpg Lexi's Place: A safe haven for teens battling suicide, sexual abuse and depression

    In a perfect world, a 14-year-old wouldn’t know exactly how it feels to try suicide.
    An 11-year-old who reaches out to the unwanted kids at school would not be thrown against a locker and bullied by other teens trying to make her feel small.
    And surely no teen would have a father who, when she was small, would give her to his friends for sex.
    All those things happened to the teens at Lexi’s Place.

    July 22, 2014 8 Photos

  • SUN LIFE wine fest 3 072014.jpg [Duplicate] Sip the Niagara Wine Trail's best in one location The Niagara Wine Trail reveals it's sweetness slowly, and only to those dedicated enough to spend the time. There are 27 wineries and to sample a taste of each requires much driving through the backroads of the Niagara region, and far too much sipping to make driving a logical possibility. That's what makes the trail's 6th annual Wine and Culinary event such a good idea. Wine lovers who've always wanted to explore the new and unusual offerings of the 14-year-old wine trail, can do so next weekend, all in one place.

    July 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • SUN LIFE Open gardens 4 072014.jpg [Duplicate] Niagara gardeners take part in fest's Open Gardens program

    As they looked out over the near-half-acre that is the Blyth garden in the Town of Tonawanda, a visitor asked Linda Blyth if they ever get weeds.

    July 21, 2014 10 Photos

  • mug - Tybor, Chris RGB FIT FOR LIFE: The components, signs of an effective diet

    According to the latest research, “keto diets” or very low-carb diets are not more effective long-term than other diet methods. A wide range of diets work and I won’t debate the value of each and every diet or method out there, but the keys to a successful diet need to take the following into consideration:

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE terrariums 2 072014.jpg [Duplicate] Terrariums — for the love of nature

    Terrarium workshops by Sara Johnson of Sylvatica 

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • NIA Fire Trucks art 2 071914 Local fire departments display their antique fire trucks at Canal Fest

    Canal Fest premiered a new event on Thursday afternoon with the first Vintage Fire Truck Muster, featuring antique firefighting vehicles from as early as 1872.

    July 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • Debutante 2 Falls debutante program aims to teach girls the art of success

    Many of the young girls in the newest debutante class in Niagara Falls have bigger challenges in their lives than practicing curtsies and writing thank-you notes.

    July 14, 2014 3 Photos

  • SUN LIFE milk 1 071314.jpg [Duplicate] LOCKPORT: Farm couple shares organic dairy farming methods. When Tina Kowalski is out grocery shopping and she sees someone pick up a carton of organic milk, she sometimes walks over to thank them. If that carton is produced by the Upstate Farms dairy cooperative, there's a good chance it contains milk from one of the 60 dairy cows on her Lockport Farm. And she just loves those cows.

    July 13, 2014 4 Photos

  • mug - stack, catherine RGB [Duplicate] [Duplicate] NATURAL HEALTH: Do you really know what you are eating?

    Many individuals fall for words like “all natural,” “heart healthy” and pretty pictures of fruits and vegetables when shopping for groceries. These very misleading marketing ploys are partially responsible for the rising numbers of those diagnosed with heart disease and diabetes and people suffering from obesity even though they are eating foods that claim to benefit their health.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE exercise 2 071314.jpg [Duplicate] Local venues follow trend, offer free public exercise programs

     Following a trend of public, outdoor exercise programs, a number of local venues are offering their own free events aiming to get residents outside and active during the summer.

    July 13, 2014 3 Photos

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page