The World War II is off to a good start
World War II veteran Don Schwartz, of Reno, says his part in the war was very minor.
“My role was meager in the war,” he said. “I didn’t do that much.”
Schwartz was a glider pilot during the war, having served from 1942-46. He retired as a captain in 1946.
“I did my part, but really, I didn’t do that much during the war,” he said. “I was no hero.”
But, many Nevada veterans would disagree, saying that Schwartz has done more than his part.
He was responsible for organizing a tribute to World War II veterans on the 50th anniversary of the end of the war.
“It was my pleasure to kind of quarterback the salute to war veterans,” he said. “We had a tremendous dinner on V-J Day.”
V-J Day is the day of victory for the Allied forces over Japan in World War II, and the day fighting with Japan ended.
Since that time, Schwartz said someone came up with the idea that Korean conflict veterans could use a little recognition.
“Before you know it, we’ve got a full blown effort to honor the guys who served in the Korean War and the folks at home who supported it,” he said.
The Korean tribute is scheduled for June 25, 2000, which will be 50 years to the day that the Korean War began. “Our theme is ‘Reno/ the Korean War remembered,'” Schwartz said. “We have put together a list of hundreds already.”
He said he and other organizers are trying to get the word out to those who served in the conflict. The Korean War was part of a United Nations peacekeeping effort. The United States supplied nearly 90 percent of the troops and equipment to the conflict.
“It’s of great interest to me and to a lot of people,” Schwartz said. “It’s just a real labor of love to make sure that these men get some acknowledgement.”
Other groups around the nation are working on similar celebrations. The US Korean 2000 Foundation is asking all Korean War veterans to register. They are planning a commemorative celebration that begins June 25 and runs through July 27, 2003. Information is available through http://www.uskorea2000.org or (703) 212-8128.
Activities honoring all veterans have been planned for today in the form of parades.
The Virginia City Chamber of Commerce and organizers have scheduled a parade 11 a.m., commemorating the exact time and date when the World War II armistice was signed.
The parade will include military color guards, Pearl Harbor survivors, World War II military vehicles, floats and more.
The parade begins at the Fourth Ward School at the south end of C Street and ends at the parking area at the north end of town, where a plaque commemorating the 54th anniversary of World War II is situated.
A fly-over by jets from Fallon Air Station will take place, weather permitting.
After the parade, veterans and their families are invited to a luncheon at the Storey County Senior Center, located at Mill and E streets.
In Reno, Gov. Kenny Guinn and Mayor Joe Griffin are expected to participate in the parade down Virginia Street. Organizers said the parade is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at Seventh Street and will disperse at Pine Street. There 60 entries
Where to go
What: Veterans Day parades
Where: Virginia City and Reno
When: 11 a.m.