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Thank you, vets
Mar 21, 2012
To the Editor:

To veterans Glen Flora, Joe Kennedy, and Mark Giannullo:
 

As you know, our English teacher gave us lists of questions about Bayonne from the 1800s until now.
We had to research online for many things.
However, the majority of our work was conducting live interviews with citizens of Bayonne.
Our favorite part of the research was the part we spent with you.

Thank you for allowing us to visit your museum.
Since we had to give back answers in the form of a book, we needed photographs.
Thank you for posing for all of our pictures. We loved your museum on Ninth Street.
We all found it very interesting. It was incredibly informative.
We learned so much from the exhibits and from you.
You were very hospitable on the Saturdays that we visited.

The museum has a great atmosphere.
It is hard to believe that all of the things in that museum are from soldiers who left Bayonne to fight in all of those wars.
We especially loved all of the old photographs and uniforms.
Looking at all of the interesting artifacts was like watching a movie.
Thank you to all of the veterans who fought so that we can live in freedom in the city of Bayonne.

Thank you so much, again.

ELEVENTH GRADE STUDENTS

Bayonne High School

Read more: Hudson Reporter - Thank you vets
http://hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/17945156/article-Thank-you--vets?

‘You will not be disappointed’
Feb 15, 2012
To the Editor:

Dear Bayonne community,

I would like to raise awareness for an often forgotten cause – our veterans. They have fought for our country and our freedoms.
Thousands of veterans lost their lives and thousands more have been severely wounded protecting our nation.
We need to remember to honor and respect the soldiers who fought for us.
Veterans have done so much for our country, and we can’t forget what they have done for us.

My eighth grade class recently went on a field trip to the Joyce-Herbert VFW Post No. 226 on Ninth Street.
Most people in Bayonne probably pass by the building all the time, but don’t know it is there.
During the program, I learned about the hardships and emotions the soldiers went through on the battlefield
from a panel of veterans who had served in Vietnam, Korea, and even World War II.
The stories were heartbreaking but inspiring.
At the museum, I saw old weapons, uniforms, and other interesting military artifacts.

I suggest every citizen of Bayonne go and visit during their Saturday hours because there is so much to learn.
I also feel that the VFW Post is a little bit underfunded.
Donations to the veterans would help Post No. 226 continue their service to those who served our country, as well as their education of the community.
If you go visit the Joyce-Herbert Veterans Museum, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

MATTHEW HART

On behalf of the John M. Bailey School Class of 2012

Read more: Hudson Reporter - ‘You will not be disappointed’
 http://www.hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/17528664/article-%E2%80%98You-will-not-be-disappointed%E2%80%99?
 

Thank you from V.F.W. Post 226
May 11, 2011
To the Editor:

This is a heartfelt thank you from Commander Glen J. Flora of the Joyce-Herbert V.F.W. Post 226 to our grammar school students of
the Bayonne community schools, All Saints Catholic Academy, Cub Scout Pack No. 25, and members of the community.
It is with great pleasure that I reach out to thank each and every student, teacher, parent, family and community member, and friends,
for their support in our “Never Forget” Veterans’ Museum education lecture and tour since its inception in 2007.

Thank you to All Saints Catholic Academy, John M. Bailey School, Dr. Walter F. Robinson School, Lincoln Community School,
Midtown Community School, Nicholas Oresko School, Mary J. Donohoe School, Philip G. Vroom School, Henry E. Harris School,
Washington Community School, Woodrow Wilson School, Cub Scout Pack No. 25, and students from Dover, Camden, Newark, and Paterson New Jersery schools.

Thank you to the following for making our program a success: Commander and Founder Glen J. Flora, Curator Joseph Kennedy, speakers Herman Shanker,
former mayor Richard Rutkowski, district three V.F.W. Commander Ralph Corno, V.F.W. Post Commander Tony Goodson, Frank Perrucci,
Chuck Gallagher, Louis Giovanni, and Dr. Major Jack Smith; Frank Murphy, Patrick McCall, Mark Giannullo, Stephen Shanker, and Jackie George Esq.
We would like to extend our gratitude and appreciation for the donations, thank you letters and arm bands for troops
from Bailey School eighth graders, and for personal letters and posters created by the students.

Thank you for supporting V.F.W. Post 226.

GLEN J. FLORA

Read more: Hudson Reporter - Thank you from V F W Post 226
http://www.hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/13246741/article-Thank-you-from-V-F-W--Post-226?

Bayonne sixth-graders visit VFW post's museum

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sharing their military experiences with the students are, from left,
Major Jack Smith of the U.S. Army Medical Corps who served in Iraq;
Post Commander Glen J. Flora, who worked as a chemical equipment repairman in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War;
Post Junior Vice Commander Herman Shanker who was a B-24 Bomber pilot with the U.S. Army Air Corps during WWII;
Frank Perucci who served with the U.S. Merchant Marines and the U.S. Army during WWII;
Chuck Gallagher who served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War; and
Tony Goodson, commander of Samuel R. Shelton VFW Post 2294,
who served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.

Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal

http://photos.nj.com/jersey-journal/2011/04/bayonne_sixth-graders_visit_vf_2.html

http://photos.nj.com/4505/gallery/bayonne_sixth-graders_visit_vfw_posts_museum/index.html


 

Thank you Commander Glen Flora and staff
Aug 11, 2010
To the Editor:

I would like to publicly acknowledge VFW Commander Glen Flora and his staff, Joe Kennedy and my lifelong friend,
Mark Giannullo, for sharing their war experiences so profoundly during my students’ recent visit to the Post.
They have created an educational gem on Ninth Street in Bayonne. After visiting on my own, I suggested this as an optional interview skills activity.

The museum, which faces Ninth Street in a brown building with an American flag outside, is only open on Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The students learned a valuable lesson about sacrifice and patriotism. I have often spoken of my own mother’s service.
The students located her picture with her twin brother, Hubert Sharkey, on his P.T. boat, being honored by Eleanor Roosevelt. Now, the students understand.

The individual 8 x 10 portraits of the service men and women from Bayonne are spectacular.
We knew many of the faces. During the visit, Glen and his staff dressed the students in helmets and actually showed them how to hold rifles.
World War II wheelchair-bound visitors spoke about the horror of war and their deep sense of national pride.
All veterans graciously answered questions and became visibly moved while remembering their war buddies.
The father of one of my students actually joined the Post during his visit.
He is a Vietnam Vet who will now be afforded a place to talk to other veterans and gain legal and medical advice.
Additionally, his son joined the Marines recently. I urge all citizens to view this wonderful exhibit.
Families have donated pictures, uniforms, medals, love letters, telegrams, weapons, and army food – military-issued artifacts that one only sees in the movies.
The veterans spent hours just talking and showing the students each and every corner of that museum.
The boys recorded their visit and held the rest of the class mesmerized on Monday.

Thank you again, Commander Glen Flora and staff, for your creativity, your hard work, your time, and most of all, for sacrificing your lives.
I hope that our BHS students returning from Iraq will seek and find solace in these three wonderful men at the war museum on Ninth Street.
 

DONNA HURLEY ZERVOULIS

Daughter of 2nd Lt. Ann Sharkey Hurley, WWII Army Nursing Corps.

Read more: Hudson Reporter - Thank you Commander Glen Flora and staff
 http://www.hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/9225409/article-Thank-you-Commander-Glen-Flora-and-staff?
 

A tribute to Bayonne veterans
Museum highlights the part locals played
by Al Sullivan
Reporter staff writer
May 26, 2010

AN AMAZING PLACE – Bayonne’s veterans’ museum is stuffed with artifacts of local residents
who went into service over the long history of the city.
(To view slideshow (5 images) follow article link to page.)

As many as 1,000 students have passed through the doors to the veterans’ museum at the
Joyce-Herbert Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 226
on West Ninth Street over the last year, and for Commander Glen J. Flora, it is not nearly enough.

He says kids don’t know enough about the sacrifices American veterans have made.

Each Tuesday, the veterans’ post throws open its doors for visitors to come see the collection of military items donated to the museum by Bayonne veterans.

Even with people crowding the other rooms, this space seems sacred,
walls decorated with photos of local heroes dating back to World War I
and mannequins wearing the actual uniforms worn by soldiers, sailors, marines and others who served their country.
_____________

“This place is like a chapel. Some veterans just come here and sit.
Some even cry.” – Glen J. Flora
________


 

The names on each plaque read like a who’s-who of Bayonne families,
from former Mayor Dennis Collins to the late Medal of Honor recipient Stephen Gregg.

“We try to have guest speakers,” Flora says.

On Tuesday, May 11, students from Philip Vroom School came to hear former Mayor Richard Rutkowski,
Frank Perrucci, Joseph Kennedy and Chuck Gallagher talk about their experiences in the military
and then tour the museum where the post – thanks in large part to Kennedy –
has gathered a very impressive collection of Bayonne military history, dating back beyond the American Civil War.

“We’ve added a number of new things,” Flora says,
weaving through the display cases of the already well-stocked museum.

Local museum

He pointed to a picture of a dog tag of Henry Rhodes,
a Bayonne soldier who had fought hand to hand on one of the Solomon Islands during World War II but had lost his dog tags there.
A local resident went to a museum there, where the dog tags were on display.
While the resident couldn’t bring back the tags, he snapped a picture of the tags that had the Bayonne address.

“The family still lived [here],” Flora said. “Henry died of natural causes in 1970.”

Another recent addition is a display to the memory of George Szewda, who spent time in a Nazi prisoner of war camp.

Flora points to yet another display dedicated to Angelo Squiteri,
who received the distinguished service cross,
the highest award a veteran can get short of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

‘Some even cry’

Flora treats this place like a church, moving from display to display as if through the Way of the Cross,
each face from the past showing the remarkable sacrifices local residents made before they went on with more ordinary lives.

“This place is like a chapel,” he said. “Some veterans just come here and sit. Some even cry.”

Flora points to pictures in one exhibit of pilots once listed as missing in action,
noting that one is still unaccounted for, while the other man’s remains were recently found.

Students come in and stare at the faces of men and women who were not much older than they are now,
and yet they risked their lives for something larger and more important than merely work or school.

Each item, whether a hat or badge, canteen or medal, signifies an important moment not only in world history,
but in the history of the people from Bayonne who went to war – some of whom never came back.

Covers every war

Thanks to gifts from veterans, local and far away, as well as family members of veterans,
Bayonne has a very comprehensive museum of military artifacts covering every war
from the American Civil War to the two contemporary wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Open for about three years, the museum has been called Bayonne’s best kept secret.
While this is a compliment to how much is here, it is also a concern since
this place contains the history of sacrifice Flora believes every child should know.

The Veterans’ Museum is located at the Joyce-Herbert VFW Post 226 16 W. 19th Street.
For more information about hours or to schedule a visit, call (201) 858-1416.

Read more: Hudson Reporter - A tribute to Bayonne veterans Museum highlights the part locals played
http://www.hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/7661445/article-A-tribute-to-Bayonne-veterans-Museum-highlights-the-part-locals-played--?
 


 

A history of American heroes
VFW Post 226 museum provides glimpse of Bayonne veterans
by Al Sullivan
Reporter staff writer
Aug 26, 2009

FOR THOSE WHO SERVED – The veteran’s museum at VFW Post 226 covers nearly branch of service,
trying to reflect that diversity of those from Bayonne who served over the years.
(To view slideshow (9 images) follow article link to page.)

Commander Glen J. Flora moves through the veterans’ meeting hall with quiet reverence,
walls lined with the memorabilia from generations of American conflicts.

“This place is like a chapel,” he said. “Some veterans just come here and sit. Some even cry.”

Even with people crowding the other rooms of the Joyce-Herbert Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 226 on West Ninth Street,
this space seems sacred, walls decorated with photos of local heroes dating back to World War I
and mannequins wearing the actual uniforms worn by soldiers, sailors, marines and others who served their country.

The names on each plaque read like a who’s-who of Bayonne families,
from former Mayor Dennis Collins to the late Medal of Honor winner, Stephen Gregg.

Flora points to pictures in one exhibit of pilots once listed as missing in action,
noting that one is still unaccounted for while the other man’s remains were recently found.

There is pain in his voice as he speaks, part of the reaction some veterans get when they come here
and see artifacts from a time that time in their lives, hats or badges, or the canteen or grenade they wore on their belts.

Thanks to gifts from veterans, local and far away, as well as family members of veterans,
Bayonne has a very comprehensive museum of military artifacts covering every war
from the American Civil War to the two contemporary wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A museum

Each inch is a testimony to the past, filled with ribbons, medals,
models or photographs, a three dimensional snap shot of a particular time and place.

Flora pauses before each exhibit the way Catholic school children might pause before stations of the cross.
Each place bears the stories of people who went to war – some of whom came back changed or not at all,
all of whom have won their small monument in this hall of heroes.

“We’re trying to get school kids to come here,” Flora said.
“I’ve contacted all the schools, but so far only one school has come.”

Open for about two years, the museum has been called Bayonne’s best kept secret.
While this is a complement to how much is here,
it is also a concern since this place contains the history of sacrifice Flora believes every child should know.

Names jump out from the past such as Dr. Sal La Pilusa, who served in a MASH unit during the Korean War,
and less familiar names such as Genevieve Blyskal, who was an early pioneer for women in the military.

Starting it

Although Flora was instrumental in promoting the idea of a military museum,
he credits fellow VFW member Joseph Kennedy with pulling many of the pieces together in order to make it work.

“I asked him to do something, and he being a perfectionist put this together in about six months,” Flora said.
_____________

“I asked him to do something, and he, being a perfectionist,
put this together in about six months.” – Glen Flora
________

The museum has more than a dozen basic displays, covering the various wars or places of historic significance,
such as the display dedicated to Elco BoatWorks where Patrol Torpedo boats were constructed for use in World War II,
including the most famous PT 109 commanded by John F. Kennedy, who later went on to become president of the United States.

Nearly everything is authentic, including some parts of the Civil War uniform.
There are even a few items dealing with civil defense and the personal history veterans.

Herman Shanker, for instance, has two uniforms on display from his military service as a pilot of a B-24 bomber.
He was shot down twice in the South Pacific during WWII. The second time, his crew encountered sharks.

He kept the clock from the first plane and a flashlight from the second.
Both items are on display along with mannequins wearing his flying gear.

At 94, Shanker commands the Jewish War Veteran post in Bayonne. His group meets at the museum.

The collection comes from a variety of places, veterans donating their own gear,
family members donating items from their deceased loved one, and some found items.

Flora said he found some pieces such as a radio from the past thrown out as trash.

One veteran, prior to his death, rolled into the museum in a wheelchair to donate items.

The museum, of course, shows images of the former Military Ocean Terminal of Bayonne,
a key base in supplying military efforts from World War II through the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s.

Historic distinctions

Some of the items recall groups that most people had forgotten,
such as the Bayonne Diving School in a photograph from 1963.

Bayonne has a number of historic distinctions, but few cities can boast they produced two Medal of Honor recipients:
Michael Oreska, who is still living, and Stephen Gregg, who passed away a few years ago. They both have a place of honor in this museum.

“We’re hoping to get the Medal of Honor here,” Flora said. “But we have to install an alarm and provide insurance.”

While Bayonne made an effort to become the home port of the historic Battleship New Jersey,
few realize that Bayonne had a warship named after the city,
and the museum has both models of the ship sunk during the war,
but also one of the American flags that flew over it.

The museum also gives space to the Merchant Marines, an often overlooked branch of the service.

The museum also has several displays of enemy artifacts from the various wars,
including Japanese, German and Italian items from WWII,
as well as photos of the first Bayonne casualty from WWI, whose grave was recently found just off Route 440.

The Veterans’ Museum is located at the Joyce-Herbert VFW Post 226 16 W. 19th Street.
For more information about hours or to schedule a visit call: 201-858-1416.

Read more: Hudson Reporter - A history of American heroes VFW Post 226 museum provides glimpse of Bayonne veterans
http://www.hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/3257839/article-A-history-of-American-heroes-VFW-Post-226-museum-provides-glimpse-of-Bayonne-veterans-?
 

Shanker to be honored after parade
Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Marine Corps League has selected 94-year-old Herman Shanker
to receive the 2009 Lance/Corporal Stanley J. Kopcinski Memorial Award.

The league began this award in 1967 to honor the memory of the first Bayonne Marine killed in combat in Vietnam, on May 14, 1966.
It is presented each year following the Bayonne Memorial Day Parade to individuals who have distinguished themselves in the community.

This year's recipient is Herman Shanker, a World War II veteran who served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1943 to 1946.
He served in the Pacific Theater of operations as a pilot of a B24 Bomber and was a member of the 90th Bomb Group, 319th Squadron.

Shanker served in New Guinea, the Philippines, at Okinawa and finally at Ie Shima,
where the surrendering Japanese Imperial Forces were flown for the formal surrender ceremony marking the end of World War II.

During the war, Shanker was shot down twice by Japanese anti-aircraft fire.
He indicates that he was lucky to survive both crashes and didn't fly again after the second one.

Shanker has been the commander of Jewish War Veterans Post 18 of Bayonne since 1998.
He also serves as junior vice commander of VFW Post 226 of Bayonne.
He also serves as chaplain of the Bayonne Memorial Day Parade Committee,
which plans the annual Memorial Day Parade as well as Flag Day ceremonies and other special events.

Shanker and his wife, Esther, have one daughter, Susan Beth Shanker,
and one son, Stephen Shanker of Rochester, N.Y.; four grandchildren,
Stacey, Jody, Eric and Andrew, and two great-grandchildren, Brandon and Ethan.

Shanker will be receive the award at 3 p.m. Monday at the VFW Post 226 hall, 16 W. Ninth St.

http://www.nj.com/bayonne/index.ssf/2009/05/bayonne_marine_corps_league_to.html

 Photos with tag “Bayonne Veterans Museum”

Military collection, veterans speak Monday
Friday, November 07, 2008

The Bayonne Historical Society will be unveiling a new military collection
at the Joyce-Herbert VFW Post 226 Veterans Museum on Monday, the day before Veterans Day.

A special program will be held at 7 p.m. featuring guest speakers who will discuss topics
covering World War I, the Merchant Marine, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm.

Pictures, uniforms, firearms and other memorabilia from major military
conflicts of the 20th Century will be displayed, and refreshments will be served.

Herman Shanker, who was a B-24 pilot during World War II, will be one of the guest speakers.

For more information about the collection,
contact Lee Fahley, president of the Historical Society, at 201-436-5978.

JONATHAN SHAPIRO
 http://www.nj.com/news/jjournal/bayonne/index.ssf?/base/news-4/1226042782216180.xml&coll=3


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