Share this article

print logo

City Hallways (Dec. 8) 97-year-old veteran honored for World War II service

Army vet proves 90 is the new 60

As Charles Blakely stood next to Mayor Byron Brown, receiving accolades for his service to the country, the World War II Army veteran didn't look his 97 years.

And then Blakely spoke.

He sounded even younger than he looked, declaring his love of country in a booming voice.

Then Blakely told his story.

He was in basic training, he said, when Pearl Harbor was attacked.

It wasn't long after, he recalled, that he landed in North Africa, then was on the front lines fighting in Italy against the Germans.

"There were land mines, shelled German artillery," he said, adding: "You couldn't help but weep" when fellow soldiers were killed.

It was a hard war, but worth it to protect the United States, Blakely declared.

Blakey was invited to the mayor's office Wednesday in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

He came with his wife, Larusha Hester Blakely. They've been married 66 years.

The couple's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were there, too.

It was all a testament to Blakely's full life that includes some difficult war memories as well as more than 30 years working at Bethlehem Steel.

"He could pass for 30 years younger," Brown said when introducing Blakely.

Lights on

City Hall holiday lights go on tonight.

That means the dome will be red, green and white.

And, for the second year in row, the city will also be lighting an outdoor Christmas tree located on the fourth floor portico of City Hall.

The tree lighting is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. and can be seen from Niagara Square.

In today's Buffalo News and, I have story on Green Code rules governing tobacco and alcohol

Like me on Facebook
: City Hallways
Friend me on Facebook: BN Susan Schulman
Follow me on Twitter@sue_schulman
Follow me on Instagram: @cityhallways
Email me at:

Story topics:

There are no comments - be the first to comment