There wasn’t a dry eye in the room when World War II veteran Anthony Rosenthal, 97, was presented with medals by officials at LiveWell in Plantsville on Thursday, Nov. 11.
It’s been more than 70 years since Rosenthal served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Wichita, CA-45, a heavy cruiser that began World War II on the European coast before being transferred to the Pacific Theater where she remained for the remainder of the war.
Wichita was heavily engaged during the invasion of Okinawa, where she provided heavy gunfire support to ground troops ashore.
For his service during the war, Rosenthal received the American theater medal, victory medal, Asiatic Pacific medal with one star, the Philippine liberation medal and combat action ribbon from the Navy Personnel command.
He also received a State of Connecticut wartime medal, and a medal from the mayor of his hometown of New Britain, Erin Stewart.
“I made it through the war, so I could see you people,” said Rosenthal to the crowd at LiveWell.
Family, friends, veterans and others gathered to witness the ceremony. Rosenthal’s daughter, Diane Memery, said it was “a wonderful day for him.”
“He was in tears today because he was so happy,” said Memery. “It was truly amazing and well deserved.”
U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro had been working to get these medals to Rosenthal since June, Memery said. The family was pleased to finally see Rosenthal receive his recognitions.
Janelle Morelli contributed. To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Roy, email her at SRoy@SouthingtonObserver.com.