Home » Veterans remembered, along with attack on Riva Ridge

Veterans remembered, along with attack on Riva Ridge

SALISBURY —Veterans Day ceremonies and activities got started a day early, on Thursday, Nov. 10, with an assembly at Salisbury Central School (SCS).Eleven veterans attended: Gail Clark (Air Force); Bob Mather (Marines); Tracy Kaufman (Army); Gerry Baldwin (Air Force); Frank Winters (Army); Bullet Sherwood (Army); Wayne Neville (Navy); Norman Sills (Navy); Charlie Savage (Navy); Priscilla Rossiter (Army); and Edward “Nick” Nickerson (Army).SCS teacher Helen Mahoney told the audience that “service is a key principle,” allowing Americans “to live in a democracy.”The students lined up to shake hands with the veterans to end the assembly. Nickerson said he was surprised at the number of children present; Rossiter, sitting next to him, was similarly struck, saying that when she attended grammar school in Lakeville (in the building that now houses the post office) there were only a handful of children.On Friday morning, there was a ceremony honoring veterans by the war memorial at Town Hall. Jason McGarry (Navy) organized the event, and Bill Becker (Army), Paul Brazee (Air Force), James Brazee (Army) and Brandon Hakulin (Marines) formed the color guard. The Rev. Diane Monti-Catania from the Salisbury Congregational Church offered the prayer. About 50 people, including the Cub Scouts, who served hot drinks, attended.Later on Friday, at Noble Horizons, after a luncheon, another nice-sized crowd assembled in the Learning Center for an 18-minute video narrated by Tom Brokaw about the 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army, which fought in the Italian Alps in World War II.The 10th was formed from the ranks of skiers, mountaineers and other outdoor enthusiasts (some of whom went on to establish major ski areas such as Aspen and Vail, and to popularize the sport). Nickerson and Crosby Wells were part of the 10th, and both were in attendance, resplendant in blazers bearing the divisional crest.Nickerson delivered a few impromptu remarks before the video, explaining that the assault on Riva Ridge was an essential part of the overall strategy to move into the strategically important Po valley that lay beyond the mountains.Nickerson, who was part of the assault on Mount Belvedere the day after Riva Ridge, described the Riva Ridge action as a “diversionary attack.”The attack was at night, straight up the steep mountains. “It was not quite vertical, but close enough,” Nickerson said.“It was one of the few times we really used our skills as mountain troops.”

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