The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

June 14, 2012

Dinner to honor World War II veterans

Staff Writer

ASHTABULA — American World War II veterans are dying at a rate of about 1,000 a day. While Paul Nelson, Ashtabula County American Legion commander, can’t stop them from dying, he can let those who remain know how much we cherish their service and sacrifices.

“If it wasn’t for these guys, we’d be speaking Japanese or German now,” Nelson said. “Most of these guys are all in their 80s or 90s now, and we need to do something for them.”

He and members of the American Legion Dewey Howlett Post No. 103 plan to put their appreciation into action with a dinner to honor World War II veterans. The free event will be July 21 in the Carpenter Road post. It is open to all World War II veterans from Ashtabula, North Kingsville and the townships of Austinburg, Ashtabula and Saybrook. The veteran does not have to be affiliated with the American Legion to attend.

“It is free for the veteran and one guest,” Nelson said. Other family members are welcome to attend, but there is a $5 per person charge for the Swiss steak dinner. Post members will prepare and serve the meal.

The idea was borrowed from the Conneaut American Legion Post.

“In 2008, they had a dinner in Conneaut, and more than 200 attended,” Nelson said. “Seventy-nine of them were World War II veterans. Now, close to half of (the veterans who attended) are gone. That is why we need to get the word out about this event.”

Nelson said the post will need to have reservations in by July 15. To make a reservation, stop by the post at 1804 W. 19th St., or call 964-7485.

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