On Sunday, Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the World War II Legacy Foundation honored a group of World War II veterans at the Holiday Inn in East Hartford, Conn. Veterans' ages were 90 to 105 years young. It was the 2nd annual Commemoration of the End of World War II. It took place as a luncheon. Some 10 World War II veterans from across the state of Connecticut attended. Two were members of American Legion Post 2. The post historian arranged for them to be part of the event.
As part of the ceremony, Post 2 had the honor of doing the Missing Man Ceremony, also known as the POW/MIA Table. The historian was assisted by a fellow Post 2 member, a World War II veteran/ Iwo Jima survivor/World War II Legacy member - and in 30 days turns 99 - Joe Caminiti.
This past February, Joe was presented a painting of himself. It was presented at the Bristol Library with the help of Post 2. On the 17th a friend of Joe’s from New Britain, Rosario Lombardo, had the honor of receiving a painting of himself from the same artist.
Quilts of Valor were on hand to present three of the veterans with quilts: Mr. Caminiti and Mr. Fitz along with a yeoman second class, Marie Walsh, about 103.
A special birthday card was signed by all to one of the last three Code Talkers. Last year he called the event and sang the Marine Corps Hymn in his native tongue to a few Iwo Jima survivors. This year he was unable to attend by phone.