Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.
25 years ago
Nov. 12, 1988
Seven American flags for seven decades of the American Legion burned in Oneonta’s Neahwa Park on Friday, Veterans Day. The flames were lit and tended by veterans in memory of veterans.
“It was very emotional for most of us,” said John Higgins, president of local Chapter 85 of the Vietnam Veterans of America. “The burning of the flag is symbolic of showing the ultimate respect to all the soldiers who have died in battle for our country.”
Seventy years ago on Nov. 11, the Armistice ending World War I was declared. It was the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, and the year was 1918. About 150,000 veterans who survived the “Great War” in Europe are alive today.
Anthony Chicorelli of Oneonta is one of those 150,000. He was honored by the American Legion at the veterans’ hall at 366 Main St. in Oneonta on Friday afternoon. Several awards, such as an American flag and proclamation by Oneonta Mayor David Brenner, commemorated his contributions, including recognition of 70 years of service.
At 94, Chicorelli is the club’s oldest living veteran. He was born in Italy and came to Oneonta at age 13 and worked many years operating a barbershop in the city.
Chicorelli served in the army during World War I. On Aug. 21, 1920, he and 15 other veterans formed the local American Legion Post 259, said veterans officials.
50 years ago
Nov. 13, 1963
A youthful space scientist from the Sixth Ward had a real life thrill this week when he found out that the “sputnik” he launched last May had actually contacted someone in another part of the world — Connecticut.
The youthful experimenter, Craig Pierce, 9, son of Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Pierce of 59 Gilbert St., was one of five Cub Scouts from Den 2, Cub Pack 24 in the Sixth Ward, to send soaring aloft card-carrying balloons back on a Saturday morning in May.
The difference was that Craig was the only one of the five to get his card back, along with a friendly message from a Larchmont, N.Y. man who found the balloon and card across the state line in Connecticut.
The episode was related Monday by Donald Lynd, Cubmaster who explained that Craig, along with David Colone, Victor Scavo, Gregory DeSalvatore and Donald Lynd Jr., had a “launching” in May.
Calling the launching a “shot in the dark,” Mr. Lynd said he had more or less put the episode out of his mind until Craig, beaming all over, showed up at the last Den meeting bearing a post card.
On it was a message from the finder, Roy Nugent.
“I hope you haven’t given up faith,” wrote Mr. Nugent. “ … send another and it may reach Washington.”