By SHERIDAN ROY
The Wall of Honor induction ceremony was held Tuesday, April 9 at Southington High School, inducting 11 SHS graduates onto the wall.
The event was made special with the help of community members coming together to share knowledge, stories and facts about the seven World War II casualties who were being inducted onto the Wall of Honor this year.
In the weeks leading up to the ceremony, a big question mark hung over the name of Stanley Andrew Folcik, as research was turning up various names and information about the person. When Bob Brown reached out to the community for help, his phone began to ring off the hook as family members of Stanley called with information.
Luckily, the WWII soldier’s family was able to correct the information, provide the right name and even a photo of Folcik. Several family members attended the ceremony.
“I would like to say ‘thank you.’ This is such a joyful event, celebrating people who made positive contributions to our community, our country and to our own lives,” said Brown, who runs the WOH committee. “And especially, thank you to those we honored.”
Several other family members of the WWII casualties attended the ceremony. Some shared stories that have been passed down through their families. Others never knew their family member who was being inducted but were honored to have them receive recognition.
John Calvanese (graduated 1941, died 1944), Paul Flynn (graduated 1943, killed 1944), Stanley Folcik (did not graduate, killed 1944), Francis Gura (graduated 1937, killed 1943), Anthony Pasquale (graduated 1940, killed 1945), Stanley Putula (graduated 1983, killed 1943) and John Ziemba (graduated 1938, killed 1944), all young men who went from SHS to fight in WWII and were killed in action, were added to the Wall of Honor.
In addition, four more honorees were added to the wall: Craig Bogdanski, MD, local physician and recipient of several significant awards; Barry DePaolo, local restaurant owner who has set up successful restaurants all over the world and done considerable charity work; Dawn D’Onofrio, a successful woman in the insurance industry who has received national awards for her underwriting skills; and Matt Galka, Emmy-award winning television news journalist now in Arizona.
Follow along in upcoming Southington Observer editions as we sit down to profile each of the four WOH inductees who attended the ceremony.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Roy, email her at SRoy@SouthingtonObserver.com.