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WWII Vets’ Shared Stories Highlight Memorial Day

They likened it to a “fireside chat,” and one of the largest audiences in the history of San Marino’s Memorial Day history appeared in Lacy Park on Monday to hear what keynote speakers Steve Antosy and Bruce Campbell had to say.

The two San Marino residents and World War II veterans kept the crowd engaged and occasionally laughing as they reflected on their substantial experiences in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Onlookers were rapt throughout the presentation but became even more silent when the names of Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini were casually mentioned by Antosy (Hitler) and Campbell (Mussolini) as both were being hunted by the infamous dictators.

Antosy participated in the D-Day Invasion of Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge and later covered the Nuremberg War Trials from the courtroom for the Armed Forces Network.

Campbell served in the famed 10th Mountain Division, as he fought in Italy with America’s specially trained mountain and winter warfare division.

Both men displayed uncanny recall of incidents that took place more than 75 years ago and it was apparent that each carried a particular fondness for the end of the war in 1945.

Antosy provided a firsthand account of the situation in Wales when it was announced that Allied forces were going to launch what soon became known ad the D-Day attack on June 6, 1944.

Antosy explained how soldiers were guarded by their American counterparts to prevent desertion.

Campbell provided details of specific battles that took place in the Italian Alps.    

The Memorial Day audience also heard speeches from Congresswoman Judy Chu, Assemblymember Mike Fong and San Marino Mayor Susan Jakubowski, who paid homage to the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen and while touting the city’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, or DEI. 

Rabbi John Carrier of the Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center delivered the invocation and closing prayer and Riley Chou of San Marino Boy Scout Troop 359 led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.

San Marino’s Bob Dini sang the national anthem and “America the Beautiful” and was acknowledged for recently celebrating his 90th birthday. Dini was a sergeant in the U.S. Army, where he served as as the official vocal soloist for the U.S. Army Band in Washington during the administrations of Presidents Truman and Eisenhower.

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