Memorial Park staff planning WWII Day

Becky Polaski
Staff Writer

In an effort to continue to offer events that cater to the interests of a wide variety of members of the community, Memorial Park staff are planning to hold a World War II Day at the park on Sunday, July 1 from noon to 6 p.m.
“One of our goals up here (at Memorial Park) is to be able to reach everybody in the town, which is where events like our Pinecrest Day, our sporting events, some of our family events and the adult events come in,” explained Memorial Park Director Jason Schreiber. “This is something that I think is going to reach a different group of people that we definitely want to reach. We want to try to have something for everybody in town up here.”
Alex Minnick, who is in his first summer as a member of the staff after graduating from St. Marys Area High School earlier this month, came up with the idea for the event and is in charge of coordinating it.
“Since I was five, I’ve been interested in history and it’s pretty much progressed since then that I’ve been involved with World War II,” Minnick said. “I like the subject, I like the topic and I like how useful our town was during the war. I find it really interesting and I thought a lot of people in this town don’t know what we did during the war, so I decided to hold it.”
According to Minnick, plans for the event are still coming together. So far, two guests speakers are planned but the hope is that a third will also be added to the schedule.
Local historian Ray Beimel is tentatively scheduled to speak at 1 p.m. and Eldred WWII Museum curator Steve Appleby is scheduled to speak at 3 p.m.
“Steve is bringing down a couple of his items that he usually brings with his speeches,” Minnick said.
He noted that he is familiar with Appleby because he also volunteers at the Eldred WWII Museum.
Reenactors are also being sought for the event, which is being held rain or shine. Any interested reenactors, or anyone who has World War II-related items that they would be willing to display, are asked to contact Memorial Park staff at 834-9418 by June 25.
“I’m hoping that the reenactors will bring some of their artifacts in so that people can see what was used during the war,” Minnick said.
A flag raising ceremony is also in the works for the opening ceremony to help kick off the event.
“I think it’s going to be a really interesting event that you can learn both from the speakers and just seeing some of the items from that time period,” Schreiber said. “I would encourage families to stop up and check it out. They don’t have to come for the full six hours, but come up and listen to a speaker and check out some of the items.”