Delmar man organizes day of remembrance for D-Day vets
For soldiers, it was The Longest Day. For Delmar resident Frank DeSorbo, it's spawning The Longest Search.
Since January, DeSorbo's been on a mission that's proving to be a daunting task. He's been trying to identify area D-Day survivors and hold a ceremony honoring them. Booking a time and location for the event was the easy part. Locating veterans has been the challenge.
After months of sending letters, doing research, making phone calls and coordinating with VFWs, American Legion posts and historians, DeSorbo has thus far managed to track down seven D-Day veterans who have agreed to meet on Saturday, June 4, two days before the 67th anniversary of the invasion at Normandy, at the Holiday Inn Express at Latham.
The event will be open to the public, especially other veterans and their families. Speeches, food and simple socialization time are planned. DeSorbo also wants to publish a sort of Where Are They Now? type of publication that will hopefully become a running newsletter.
"I'm hoping that this is going to be more than a one-year event," DeSorbo said.
The retired educator and superintendent of the Catskill Central School District came to the idea early this year after reading in the paper about a ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. His relationship with one D-Day vet and Selkirk resident Angelo Picarrazzi got him thinking.
"It just struck me that they've never done it, or I've never heard about it," he said. "I just started to run with it."
Since then, DeSorbo started the D-Day Revisited Association, a non-profit, and has spent plenty of time researching and casting a wide net for veterans. His efforts have brought him across remarkable stories and brave individuals, many of whom remain quiet about their service even to their families.