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Pearl Harbor event to celebrate ‘stepping up’

Commemoration to salute ‘Rosie the Riveters’

In the hours, days and years following the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, thousands of young men volunteered for military service.

They were not the only ones who stepped up.

Americans across the country sacrificed resources and conveniences, and pitched in wholeheartedly as the United States entered World War II. Among the most famous were the “Rosie the Riveters,” the women who took over manufacturing jobs traditionally held by men.

Rosies built tanks, airplanes and bombs.

The theme of this year’s Pearl Harbor and Beyond commemoration is “Stepping Up” and includes a special salute to Rosie the Riveters. A few “Rosies” and their families will share their stories and tell the importance of citizens stepping up.

“We have our freedoms today because of the war, and that’s of paramount importance,” said Mary La Duca of Warren, whose mother, Josephine Di Loreto La Duca, 98,worked at the Lordstown Ordnance Plant.

“There will never be another era like ours,” Josephine La Duca said.

Sponsored by the Tribune Chronicle and hosted by Kent State University at Trumbull, the Pearl Harbor and Beyond commemoration begins 6 p.m. Friday in the auditorium of the campus Administration Building.

Among the features will be an original play, “Stepping Up as Rosie,” directed by playwright Melisa Trickett, and Tim Tracey, dressed in his great-grandfather Capt. Ed Tracey’s uniform, telling the story about how the Cortland man stepped up against Nazi aggression.

Doors will open at 5:15 p.m., and from 5:15 to 5:45 p.m., Marilyn Mong and swing dancers will perform live music in a USO atmosphere.

Moderators will be Lt. Col. John Boccieri, U.S. Air Force Reserve and a former state senator and representative and U.S. representative, and Lt. Col. Genevieve Germaniuk, U.S. Army Reserve-retired.

The Rev. David Luther, a first lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol based at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station, is a coordinator of the celebration.

He said it grew out of 70th anniversary commemoration of D-Day in 2014.

“This is a unique approach to patriotism, but is still very patriotic. It is an event that desires to attract young people, college students and our community of hard-working people, all of whom cannot attend a morning event,” he said.

“I start a little early — 6 p.m. — and end at 7:30 p.m., just so the children and teens can get home in time to do homework and prepare for school.”

Goals of the commemoration include to honor all World War II veterans, wives, children and all those involved in the war effort, to involve youth in a way that will connect them with the emotion and sacrifice of the war era, and to highlight Trumbull County’s reaction and involvement during the war, he said.

“We should remember not so that we would entertain thoughts of vengeance, but so that we can be aware that ‘eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,'” Luther said.

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IF YOU GO

What: Pearl Harbor and Beyond commemoration

When: 6 p.m. Friday; doors open at 5:15 p.m.

Where: Kent State University at Trumbull auditorium, Administration Building, 4314 Mahoning Ave. NW, Champion

Moderators: Lt. Col. John Boccieri, U.S. Air Force Reserve, and Lt. Col. Genevieve Germaniuk, U.S. Army Reserve (Ret.)

Admission: Free, but tickets are required. Tickets are available in the lobby of the Tribune Chronicle, 240 Franklin St. SE, Warren. Donations to the USO will be accepted.

Sponsors: Sponsored by the Tribune Chronicle; hosted by Kent State University at Trumbull; supported by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1090 and American Legion posts 700 and 737; coordinated by 1st Lt. David Luther, Civil Air Patrol, Youngstown Air Reserve Station, and Sue Shafer, Tribune Chronicle.

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