Three WWII museums at lnfoAge will be open during the event

By Christopher Neely

WALL TOWNSHIP –   lnfoAge will host its first WWII Veteran’s Appreciation Day at the Camp Evan’s campus this weekend.

The event, which will be held at the lnfoAge Science and History Learning Center at 2201 Marconi Road, was put together to honor the thinning ranks of the “Greatest Generation” as the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor approaches.

“These guys aren’t getting any younger,” said Mike Ruane, Chairman of lnfoAge’s Board of Trustees. “We need to recognize them while we still can.”

Seven WWII veterans will be honored at Saturday’s event: Larry Cavanaugh and Patrick R. Tobia of the United States Navy; Jack Geiger of the United States Army; Lou Parisi and Cpl. Albert R. Petro of the United States Marine Corps;  and Charles Susino and Brig. Gen. James Young of the United States Air Force.

The event will also feature representatives from Rolling Thunder, an organization that works to educate the public on prisoners of war [POWs]. They will dedicate a Chair of Honor. The unoccupied chair will be a memorial to soldiers who were held as POWs, listed as missing in action [MIA] or whose remains have not been recovered.

Camp Evans was a WWII installation and served from 1941 to 1997 as a top-secret military base, where electronic warfare equipment was developed. Mr. Ruane, who is a retired U.S. Army colonel, said he could not think of a better place in New Jersey to host a WWII veterans appreciation ceremony.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to view three military museum exhibits at lnfoAge’s Military Technology Pavilion. The exhibits feature a military technology museum, a WWII miniature diorama museum, which depicts battles from the war, and a military art museum, which features drawing and paintings from WWII combat artists Charles Waterhouse and Ugo Giannini.

Mr. Ruane said the military technology museum features one-of-a-kind artifacts from WWII that even the Smithsonian Museum could not even get its hands on.

Thomas Crowley, vice chairman of lnfoAge’s board of trustees, said he hopes Saturday’s event will turn into an annual celebration, as well as an occasion to educate people on the quality of lnfoAge’s WWII museums.

“This is unique and we hope it can become an annual event,” Mr. Crowley said. “We think we can be a nice regional attraction.”

Mr. Crowley, a military veteran who spent several years in the U.S. Army Reserve, said the event is rewarding to put on.

“They are the greatest generation,” Mr. Crowley said. “These guys are incredibly modest and they appreciate the recognition. I’m thrilled. I think meeting them and watching their faces of appreciation is a great reward. We’re going to have fun with this day.”

The event will kick off at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27 and run until 9 p.m. Admission is free to active duty and military veterans but members of the general public are asked to make a $5 donation upon entry.