Niagara Gazette

Local News

October 21, 2012

Mission accomplished for local vets

Niagara Gazette — About 25 area World War II veterans were treated to a visit to the World War II Monument in Washington D.C. on Wednesday. The vets say the excursion was enriching, enlightening and exhausting — exhausting in a good way. Mission accomplished.

Sarafino Saraf, 89, of Lockport rested all day Thursday and continued to savor the experience into the weekend. "I'm still going over it," the Army Air Force veteran said. "I always wanted to go to the World War II Memorial. It's one of things I wanted to do so bad."

Saraf signed up for a Hero Flight while he was living in Florida. His home in Florida was destroyed by Hurricane Charley and his Hero trip was cancelled because of the lack of sponsors.

Back home, he learned of the trip for Western New York veterans. "Boy, I was so happy," he said. "It's something that I wanted to do before I died. It was a wonderful day for me. It finally happened. I enjoyed every bit of it."

Sen. George Maziarz has sponsored the trip four times and there were no hitches.

The vets, who are all nearing 90, were humble and grateful. Some shed tears as they were greeted with applause. Travelers said thank you and gave handshakes at the Baltimore Airport just before 10 a.m. At 11 p.m. an honor guard was posted at the Buffalo Niagara Airport to welcome the weary travelers home.

Saraf, who served in Italy during the war years, came to tears two or three times. His guardian was lawyer Mike Morris of Lockport.

"When we landed in Baltimore, people were applauding, saying thank you and shaking hands," he said. "I kind of broke down. I didn't expect anything like that."

Saraf, whose tour lasted from 1942 to 1945, tried to talk to all the vets. Vets came from Niagara Falls, North Tonawanda and Tonawanda, but he was the lone vet from Lockport.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
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

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results