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Buffalo

Pete Niland's first true epiphany about the way D-Day transformed his life arrived long before the calls from historians or reporters that are now almost routine at his North Tonawanda home, and long before the movie that shifted a family’s grief into American legend. Almost 50 years ago, just out of college, Pete was roaming through Europe with a childhood buddy when h…

Erie County

Tom Vilardo sat on the deck of a ship as he and his U.S. Army unit were about to ship out to the Pacific Theater during World War II. No one knew where they were headed. Vilardo thought about his eight siblings at home in Niagara Falls, and what he was about to encounter, as the just-released “Sentimental Journey” by Doris Day was playing over the loudspeakers. And he c…

Buffalo

Vince Rogers Jr. was faithful to the Buffalo Bisons, which to him meant rooting for minor league baseball and hockey teams of the same name. He emphasized that loyalty in his letters home from World War II, a chance for the Army Air Force staff sergeant to reflect on how enough heat and big insects could actually make a guy long for snow. “Gosh, I sure would give a lott…

Local News

Elmer Wienclawski’s parents died when he was 5. He spent 10 years in an orphanage. He worked on a farm as a teenager during the Great Depression. He tells people the secret to a long life is being positive and doing good deeds — whether it's helping strangers, serving as a volunteer firefighter or fighting for your country. Wienclawski should know. He's 99 years old.…

Local News

We saw family strife and institutional turmoil. We squinted into the national spotlight as it shone on local destinations. We witnessed the power of humanity in the the wake of tragedy and heard chilling memories of horrors long past. And yeah, we also learned that our cable bills were going up and that certain football players got themselves into trouble. It was …

Erie County

The DeGlopper Memorial Park in Grand Island has received a state grant of $100,000 which will be used towards construction of a sculpture of Charles N. DeGlopper, a World War II hero and native of Grand Island. DeGlopper received the Congressional Medal of Honor for stepping into the line of fire to provide an escape for his platoon in Normandy. Deputy Supervisor Jam…

Local News

For years, veterans on Grand Island have been planning to expand a park dedicated to a World War II hero who received the Medal of Honor for stepping into the line of fire to provide an escape for his platoon in Normandy. But a plan to erect a statue in the park depicting the soldier, Charles DeGlopper, in battle has landed in the center of debate after a committee that…

Erie County

Civil leaders on Friday will honor the late Army Pfc. Howard M. Ehrhardt, a Western New York native who was one of the first soldiers to arrive at Dachau, the Nazi's first concentration camp, and help liberate it. On the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Ehrhardt's World War II military service medals, including the Bronze Star, will be presented to his so…

Columns

Dr. Agnes Szekeres is a retired physician in California. Her husband, Gabor, died seven years ago. At 75, Agnes finds solace in the rich and varied lives of their two grown children and six grandchildren. "My kids," she said. "They all turned out fantastic." For Agnes, who survived catastrophic loss during World War II, that sense of appreciative wonder begins with t…

Obituaries

Dec. 23, 1924 – June 18, 2017 Gaza G. Papp of Buffalo had been an infantryman, a bodybuilder, a boxer, a steelworker, a Merchant Marine and a minister in his long life. He died on Father's Day in Elderwood Rehabilitation Facility in Williamsville at age 92. Mr. Papp was born in Tonawanda and went into the Army in 1943. He was part of the D-Day invasion of June 6, 194…

Columns

I wrote a column for Sunday's News that was essentially built around the reunion of my parents, just after the end of World War II. They were both West Siders, from Buffalo. My father had been in the Pacific. They suffered an unbearable family tragedy during the war. The moment my dad saw my mother at the station was the moment that they began to heal. A flood of reader…

Columns

My father told me the story only once, less than two years before he died. He was smoking a cigarette on the sidewalk, by a Dunkirk street where workers from the nearby steel plant flooded past each afternoon. This was more than 30 years ago. My mother was at the kitchen table inside our house, already staggered by the lung cancer that would take her life. That moment r…

Columns

Ed Stone enlisted in the U.S. Navy in Buffalo, in December 1940. He did what the Navy told him. He brought only a light spring jacket. He remembers that he slept the night before at the YMCA. He remembers the stone steps of the old Post Office were coated with ice, and it took him three tries to reach the top, without breaking his neck. He remembers the heater wasn't wo…

Art

The impact of World War II on American visual culture, in a word that could have been invented for the purpose, is incalculable. The shock waves of that global cataclysm, whether on Abstract Expressionist canvases or avant-garde films, continue to reverberate through the art world. They are so vast, variegated and far-flung as to seem almost impossible to grasp. But by z…

Local News

How often we forget about those who have fought the tyrants of the world. Every Monday for nearly five years, I have had the privilege of telling the stories of men and women who have gone to war to defend democracy. Salute to War Heroes was born of a suggestion by Stanford Lipsey, The News’ publisher emeritus who is himself a veteran. I really mean it when I say it’…