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PEARL HARBOR BELONGS BACK ON THE MAP

To: All Western New York Servicemen

From: Curran's Corner

Subject: What's Doing Back Home

Dear Neighbors: The game plan here called for last Thursday's column being part of an indignant letter from Charlie Sanfilippo of West Seneca. Then the Bills Alumni said they needed mention of their golf tournament and a change was made.

Here is part of that letter. "Mr. Curran: Would you believe these two organizations do not mention Pearl Harbor in the Dec. 7 block of their calendars? Maybe I'm nitpicking, but I made my decision. I won't donate to any organization that does not have Pearl Harbor on its calendar."

Yes, I believe that. Just a few years ago I printed a complaint that the national calendar of the Veterans of Foreign Wars did not have "Pearl Harbor Day" in its Dec. 7 block.

Yes, I was puzzled when some local groups showed me their properly marked calendars. But that did not alter the fact that the national VFW calendars had forgotten Pearl Harbor.

Well, I wrote to the national office of the VFW and was told that there had been an oversight. The national office had farmed out the calendar assignment, and the person putting it out had no idea what Pearl Harbor Day means to us.

I guarantee you it was in the next calendar.

There are other groups, and some of them veterans organizations, who have been embarrassed into admitting that their national offices had also farmed out the calendars.

OK, you can sit around a veterans post and moan, "They don't teach history to kids anymore." Or you can do something about the omission of the most important date of World War II, and one of the most important dates in our history.

Well, Charlie Sanfilippo of West Seneca has shown the way by refusing to donate to Easter Seals or the Nature Conservancy. They are the organizations he refers to in his letter.

His letter will be called to the attention of those who mailed the calendars and the letters of solicitation.

The other day I wondered about the establishment of a museum that would match Cleveland's heralded Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I am still wondering. In that direction I welcome ideas.

Monday night I attended a meeting of Purple Heart Chapter 187 and heard someone propose a complaint about the shutting of veterans hospitals and curtailment of veterans care. And someone noted that "a society that doesn't show lasting feeling for its war veterans is doomed."

Why not make Buffalo "The Cradle of Veterans' Benefits" the way my native Boston is "The Cradle of Liberty"? I'll keep you posted on the matter, which is important to you dudes, too.

Among the more interesting visitors to the city's environs will be Dan Rather, the anchorman and managing editor of CBS Television. And that visit will awaken some memories.

In December 1996 I attended a Christmas function at Daemen College, the host of Sunday's affair, and met the president of the college, who had come here from Sam Houston State in Huntsville, Texas.

During our talk I avoided the Texan jokes and the mention of what Gen. Sherman said about Texas. We did talk about Dan Rather, a Sam Houston State alumnus, for whom the journalism and communications school are named.

Too bad I knew so much about the man, including the fact that another Texas friend, Mickey Herskowitz, wrote Rather's autobiography, "The Camera Never Blinks."

Anyway, keep writing, send in ideas for a museum, and hang tough.

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