Veterans remembers fallen friends

May 20, 2009 5:05:31 PM PDT
With the Memorial Day holiday just around the corner, remembrances are already underway to honor fallen soldiers. In Montgomery County, a solemn ceremony was held at a cemetery where many veterans were laid to rest more than 60 years ago.

Every year, the surviving members of the Catholic War Veterans Post 1182 come here to St. Patrick's Cemetery to remember their friends and comrades who have passed away.

An American flag is placed in each bronze veteran's marker. Post 1182, located in Norristown, has done this every year since 1947.

Some brothers in arms died many years ago, during World War II.

"He got killed trying to save the monastery," Commander Augustus Dimino, CWV Post 1182, said.

Other veterans were lifelong friends. Some were even fellow members of Post 1182.

"I know many of them. Every week I'm burying one of my buddies," Augustine Interrante said.

"We've had quite a few members who have passed away in the past 5 years. We're losing membership with the older Second World War veterans," former commander Joseph Palaia said.

In 1947, the Catholic War veterans post placed about 250 flags in this cemetery. This year, they're placing about 2,500.

The Post's membership has dwindled over the years, but the commitment to honoring fallen veterans will continue through these men.

They hope that when they're gone, others will continue this patriotic tradition.

"I think it's an obligation for all veterans to participate," Palaia said.

"I guess you could say that we should do it. In today's environment, we must do it," Dimino said.

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