Tickets available for campus event on Pearl Harbor Day

Dec. 7 remembered

CHAMPION — It’s not too late to obtain free tickets to attend a program — “Pearl Harbor Day and Beyond” — honoring those who served in World War II.

The celebration’s main show will begin at 6 p.m. Friday in the auditorium of the administration building on the campus of Kent State University at Trumbull.

The stories of Gene Battista, a Navy pilot with 2,000 hours and 50 missions in World War II, and Albert Saare, will be highlighted during the program.

Saare, 99, a Liberty resident who served as a U.S. Army medic in France during the war, will be portrayed by actor Jason Garzanich, during a monologue which will outline how the war impacted his life.

“I was just doing my job,” Saare said during a recent interview. “We treated soldiers in hospitals as they were sent back from the front lines.”

Saare was drafted into the military in 1942 and remained through 1946.

“Those who were on the front lines are who should be treated as special,” he said.

When he returned to Trumbull County, Saare got a job with U.S. Steel, McDonald.

Battista was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal for his work as a pilot. He will be featured in a video produced by Melisa Trickett of Berlin Center.

Howard “Howdy” Friend, a World War II veteran who served in the U.S. Army, also will share his story on stage.

Dave Luther promotes this annual Pearl Harbor Day event because he said he believes those who served during World War II deserves recognition. He wants to make sure a younger generation understands the era, when Americans rushed to join the military in order to serve the country that faced an attack on it on an early Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941.

“There were 1,600 people from the tri-county area killed in action during World War II,” Luther said. “That’s as many killed from this area in World War I, Korea and Vietnam combined.”

Luther said the Mahoning Valley Wall of Honor will be on display, which includes the names of those killed.

“It is important for young people to realize the level of sacrifice made not only by those who never returned home, but also by those who made it back,” he said. “We should remember the men and women of the World War II era, whether they fought overseas or worked to make sure it was safe at home.”

The Champion High School choir will perform during the ceremony; Eagle Scout Andrew Parent will lead the Pledge of Allegiance; and the Civil Air Patrol Squadron Honor Guard from the Youngstown Air Reserve Station will post and retire the colors.

A 1940s-era USO swing dance will be available prior to the program in the common area. There will be swing era music and dancing. It is scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m.

In addition, footage and pictures from the attack will be shown before the event. Tribune Chronicle Publisher Charles Jarvis will moderate the evening’s program.

The Tribune is a sponsor of this event.

“Pearl Harbor and Beyond: Reacting to the Challenge,” is free, but tickets are required. They are available through the Tribune Chronicle by calling Sue Shafer at 330-841-1696 or by stopping by the newspaper office, 240 Franklin St. SE, between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. through Friday afternoon.

There is a limit of four tickets per person.

The event will be at 4314 Mahoning Ave. NW, which is handicap-accessible. Seating is limited.