Sacco Brothers Honored at North Adams American Legion for WWII Service / iBerkshires.com
|A newspaper clipping from the North Adams Transcript announcing the death of Samuel Sacco.|
|On Sunday, members of the Sacco family and others participate in a flag-raising ceremony at the North American Adams Legion.|
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – The sacrifice of the Sacco family is part of the story.
A piece of WWII memorabilia that honors the Saccos at North Adams American Legion Post 125 has a bit of a legend attached to it.
“During my research, I was unable to find the exact source where this propeller came from,” Station 125 Commander Mitchell Kiel said Sunday afternoon. “Which makes my job here today a little easier, because I can overstate how we got here.”
It’s a story that involves the kind of trouble the brothers sometimes find, Kiel said.
“While Pat and Tony were both in England, hoping to meet their brother Sam, what I know as the ‘Secret Squirrel Mission’ happened,” he said. “The two brothers, having not seen each other for a period of two years, made up for each other personally and professionally and then fell back into their youthful and mischievous ways while back at North Adams.
“With one thing leading to another and going bold for bold, there is a famous military saying: ‘Drift gear is a gift.’ The propeller found its way back to the United States and Tony returned it to the station some time later.
None of the Sacco brothers are here today to confirm or deny this story, but their memories live on at the Legion and in the hearts of fellow veterans, family members and ordinary Americans who benefit from the sacrifices of the brothers and millions of people like them during World War II.
Dozens of the brothers’ extended family were on hand for a noon ceremony at Post 125, where statewide Legion officials joined local veterans in a waiving ceremony. of the flag and the unveiling of a plaque recognizing the Sacco Brothers which will be displayed at the American Installation Legion Drive along with the propeller. The latter is a fitting testament to the Saccos, whose postings included an Air Depot Group in the South Pacific (Peter) and, in Europe, the Army Air Corps (Anthony and Joseph) and the 110th Bomber Group (Pasquale).
Anthony’s daughter Margaret Ciepiela shared with the crowd in Legion Hall a brief bio of each of the Sacco brothers, including Samuel, who was just 24 when he enlisted in 1942 and was the only one of six brothers who did not survive the war.
“[Samuel M. Sacco] was killed in action in Germany on March 1, 1945,” Ciepiela said. “Uncle Sam was said to be legally blind, and it was a deterrent leading to his death. He was sent home with the rank of Private First Class and is buried in Southview Cemetery.
Ciepiela thanked members of the American Legion for making Sunday’s event possible.
“The American Legion was a big part of our family, and we are so grateful that they continue the tradition of honoring and helping our veterans,” she said.
Current state representative and longtime North Adams mayor John Barrett III said the Sacco family has been instrumental in helping the city honor those who have served.
“[Anthony Sacco] let me know in no uncertain terms when I took office in 1984 that he had high expectations of our veterans recognition,” Barrett said. “I think he was the instigator of the creation…of a memorial to our veterans and those who served our country on Veterans Drive.
“It always bothered me that we had Veterans Memorial Drive, but we never had a memorial there. And he’s one of the reasons we had it built in the late 1990s. , at the beginning of the 2000’s. “
The current mayor of North Adams told the crowd that the Saccos’ life of service continues in peacetime.
“It is truly an honor for me to be here today for the important event to honor your family,” said Jennifer Macksey. “In addition to fighting on behalf of our country, the Sacco family has made a notable contribution to this community. And we have to thank Anthony, Samuel, Pat, Peter, Ralph and Joe for their bravery and the families for the sacrifices made.
“Today is a celebration of all those sacrifices, and today we dedicate to the Sacco brothers. They were veterans, volunteers, civic leaders, business people, family members, but, more importantly, they were our friends, neighbors and loved ones.
Pastor Dave Anderson of First Baptist Church concluded Sunday’s ceremony with an invocation. Anderson said that when asked to take part in the event, he didn’t realize the impact it would have.
“As we watched outside the flag rise, lower and bend as Taps played, and as we listened to the story of the six brothers, I found myself praying to God that ‘May I never stop having a lump in your throat,'” Anderson said. “May we never cease to be filled with gratitude for the sacrifices that have been made for us over the decades. May we never cease to be proud of this nation, for which all these men and women left to fight in foreign lands.