I passed the 300 posts milestone recently which really made me pause and consider all the research and hours that went into making this website available to the public. It really is an honor to bring the stories of these people to light. My hope is that people learn from the work and pass it on through their family and friends. These are stories about people that lived in Norwalk at some time in their life, and for some, had family who lived here. If their name is worthy of being on a plaque in this city, it’s worthy of their story being known.
Libraries are an immeasurable resource in the work on these pages. On August 18th I was allowed to make an appointment with the main branch of the Norwalk Library and specifically in the History Room downstairs. That day I was handed a folder that held a scrapbook that someone who lived in town painstakingly put together. It held nearly every newspaper article from the South Norwalk Sentinel newspaper related to World War I and the Norwalk men who served. An absolute gold mine of information of a forgotten era of our city’s history. It took me parts of 8 – 10 days to type up all the new information. I started this project by simply pasting an image of an article to a blog post and realized that might appear to be a bit lazy. So grateful to the staff at the library.
On August 7th the City of Norwalk was designated a “Purple Heart City” by the Connecticut Military Order of the Purple Heart. An honor that will stay with the city forever. An honor that was pursued because I know the residents of this city love our veterans. Those who were combat wounded or killed in action hold a place of esteem in the veteran community. It was a logical fit to include that list on this website. It really has raised awareness of the sacrifice of these heroes. As word spread through the community, I was able to add two more to the list since the event in August, and have 4 applications still pending completion. The two new members of the ‘registry’: 1) Louis Acunzo landed in France on D-Day and was wounded in action. He came back home and lived a very humble life as the story is told. 2) Just today, an older picture was given to me of members of a now defunct local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. This allowed me to learn about Hospitalman Philip R. Marzolf, U.S. Navy, wounded in action twice in Korea. He came home, raised a family, and lived to be 80 years old.
Lastly, two road trips yesterday yielded my own pictures of the footstones for John K. Luntta who is buried in Collinsville, CT which is a part of the city of Canton, and Vincent M. Horan who is from Stamford and is buried in Darien. Both were killed in action during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Where I can, I like to use my own pictures as it creates a deeper connection to the story for me. I’m glad I was able to make that happen on a beautiful day for a drive. Sgt Horan’s footstone was nearly overrun with weeds and grass. I took some time to make that right. He deserves it. They all do.