Sunday, November 05, 2000

Veterans Day exhibit tells of heroics

'To know the price of freedom'

By Randy McNutt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        OXFORD — The public pays nothing to see it, but for those who helped compile it, there was a price. Appropriately, the Veterans Day exhibit at the Oxford branch of the Lane Public Library is simple, consisting of books, medals, war memorabilia — even a list of related Internet sites.

        “The aim is to call attention to what the veterans did and to the many books that tell of World War II and other wars our nation has fought,” said John Trump, an Oxford resident who served in the 123rd Air National Guard Squadron during the Korean War.

        The exhibit, which will run through Nov. 15, concentrates on local veterans, but as they figured in the great wars of our time.

        World War II is prominently featured because Oxford still has its share of those veterans.

        Dive-bomber pilot Ken Glass lent his medication pack, helmet and the water bottle he used on flights from the carrier USS Hornet (the second Hornet of the war) in the Pacific.

        He even donated his book, The Hornets and Their Heroic Men, which he co-wrote with fellow dive-bomber pilot Hal Buell.

        “I was a torpedo bomber on the ship in March 1944, and got off that October,” Mr. Glass said. “I had 33 combat missions — flights actually engaged in combat. The big carriers like the Hornet were the first-line ships. We were in the major engagements. We preceded the landing of the Marines on the islands, hitting dock installations and airfields.”

        Library aide Rebecca Evans said she wanted to preserve the veter ans' accomplishments and remind the community of their sacrifices.

        “My boss asked me to take over putting on the library's displays,” she said. “I was surprised that nothing was done for Veterans Day. So I called Mr. Trump, who recruited his friends to make some nice donations.”

        They include photographs and medals from various soldiers and sailors, including Tony Buccieri, who served in the North African and Italian campaigns; an American prisoner's tag from a German prisoner-of-war camp; and assorted memorabilia and books.

        In addition, Donald Harrington donated items and photographs from the USS Mansfield, and another family donated a photograph of a billboard that lists area soldiers who were serving in World War II.

        “We hope that all this will give a better understanding of what sac rifice means,” Mr. Trump said. “We want young people to know the price of freedom.”

        So far, Ms. Evans said, the exhibit has been popular. “The people who stop by are very impressed,” she said. “They stoop down to read every word. It's surprising — and gratifying.”

        Mr. Trump isn't surprised by the reaction to the exhibit. “People filled Millett Hall” to hear Gen. Colin Powell speak, he said. “The general is a true hero. ... There's interest in what the veterans did, and I'm proud.”


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