Viccari recognized among volunteers working to bring two veterans memorials to area – Ellwood City, PA news
NOTE: The following article was first published by Karen Kadilak and appeared on Post-Gazette.com on May 30, 2022 at 6:00 a.m.
After Leslie Sabo Jr. was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, Dom Viccari worked hard to bring The Moving Wall back to Ellwood City to honor him.
The half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, will make a four-day stopover in August in the mostly Lawrence County borough.
Vietnam War veteran and Steelers star Rocky Bleier will be the guest speaker at the opening ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. on August 18 at the Folino Shelter in Ewing Park. The ceremony will be open to the public.
Unfortunately, Viccari won’t be there to see or hear him.
He died on April 11 at age 89.
Viccari first helped bring the exhibit to the borough in 2009 to draw attention to Sabo, who at the time was being considered for the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest honor for bravery.
A 1966 graduate of Lincoln High School in Ellwood City, this 22-year-old US Army specialist was killed in action in 1970 in Cambodia while saving the lives of several of his comrades.
Sabo was finally honored in May 2012, and his wife and brother were invited to a White House Medal of Honor ceremony.
Viccari, a U.S. Army veteran and former borough council member and director, led fundraising by soliciting and designing advertisements for a commemorative booklet, which consisted of facts about The Moving Wall and stories about soldiers from the Ellwood City area who lost their lives during the war. . (There are seven, including Sabo, whose names are on the wall.)
The wall, which runs across the country, was due to arrive in Ellwood City in 2020 but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A spokeswoman for its owner, Vietnam Combat Veterans Ltd. in Michigan, said he had been to Pennsylvania more than 40 times since 1986.
After Ellwood City, it will make stops at Hermitage, Mercer County, and New Castle, Lawrence County.
Joe Fisher, commander of American Legion Post 157, which is sponsoring the exhibit, said Viccari was active in the post until two years ago.
“We were hoping he could hang on until the wall came,” Fisher said.
Mary Ann Viccari said that when her husband was bedridden and nearing the end of his life, he invited Bob Morabito over to the house to hand over binders on the project.
“Mr. Morabito was so respectful and touched my heart when he insisted that Dom was still the chairman of the committee,” Ms. Viccari said.
Mr Fisher said plans were underway to commemorate Viccari and Mark Brown at the event.
Brown helped organize the motorcycle escort that will accompany the wall to Ewing Park. He recently died following an accident.
Additionally, Sabo’s family was asked to provide artifacts.
It will be one of many times in recent years to remember Sabo in his hometown.
In 2015, the Ellwood City Post Office was named in his honor. A memorial and a bridge were also dedicated to him.
The exhibition is a big business for the 95-member post, which does not own a building. Volunteers, as well as donations, are needed.
It became an even bigger task with the disappearance of Viccari.
“We have lost our inspirational leadership,” said Mr Morabito, 68, a post historian and former commander. “His absence has left a big hole.
“He was passionate about honoring our Vietnam Veterans. His enthusiasm will be missed.
For more information on the exhibit, visit the Post 157 Facebook page. Donations can be sent to Brandon Fisher, c/o American Legion Post 157, PO Box 569, Ellwood City, PA 16117, with a note indicating that they are for The Moving Wall.
Anyone wishing to help should call Volunteer Coordinator Rich Griffith at 724-496-9076 or email him at [email protected]
To learn more about The Moving Wall, including its schedule, visit themovingwall.org.
Karen Kadilak is a regular contributor: [email protected]
source: www.post-gazette.com/life/goodness/2022/05/30/volunteers-veterans-memorial-day-pennsylvania-dom-viccari-dom-viccari-moving-wall-ellwood-leslie-sabo-jr/ stories/202205130078