November 11, 2009
I (Joel Fanelli) received this newsletter from my local congressman regarding Cold War Vets and thought it might be worthwhile in passing along. (Congressman Israel was the keynote speaker at the October 03, 2009 salute to the Cold War Vets at the Airpower Museum in Farmingdale, NY)
This Veterans Day, we pause to recognize the service and contributions of the men and women who were tragically killed or wounded at Fort Hood in Texas. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims’ families and friends.
On Veterans Day, it is important to remember the service of all of our veterans – both those who are presently in our minds and those who have come before us. Forty-seven years ago, Cuba and the United States pointed their missiles at each other and brought the world to the brink of a nuclear war. The infamous Cuban Missile Crisis is only one example of the countless dangers of the 40-year-long Cold War. The men and women who protected our nation from danger during this time – and those who sacrificed their lives for our freedoms – have been consistently overlooked by history. That is why I recently introduced legislation that would honor veterans of the Cold War.
For nearly five decades, these service members kept the peace, maintaining missile silos and checkpoints, remote B-52 bomber bases and storm-tossed Navy ships. It is these actions that kept our nation safe from the threat of Communism – and sometimes from nuclear destruction. However, these veterans have never received a public word of thanks for all that they did. That is why my legislation would recognize May 1st as National Cold War Veterans Recognition Day. I have also introduced a bill that would create a military service medal for members of the Armed Services who served during the Cold War. It is time that our nation acknowledges the contributions of the many veterans of that era.
This Veterans Day, as we pay tribute to those who fight for and defend our nation, I hope that you will take a moment to remember the veterans of the Cold War and their extraordinary contributions to our nation’s history.
Member of Congress
Earlier today there was a Cold War veterans tribute at the American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport, here on Long Island.
I contacted Joel Fanelli, another Long Island Tac Missileer, (Hahn – 1963/65), and we met at the museum and attended the tribute.
A local U.S. Congressman, Steve Israel, officiated the ceremony.
One of the guests was History™ Channel’s Chief Historian; Dr. Libby O’Connell.
After the tribute, Joel and I approached Dr. O’Connell and gave her a short speech about our organization, the history of both missiles and the deployment locations.
I also gave her my copy of George’s (Mindling) & Bob’s (Bolton) book; U.S. Air Force Tactical Missiles, 1949-1969, The Pioneers.
My intent was to spark her interest in the Mace/Matador story and hopefully she could somehow have it presented on the History Channel.
It’s a long shot but worth it and I had nothing to lose.
The ceremony itself was nice. One of the guest speakers was a retired Russian colonel, in uniform, who now resides in Brooklyn NY.
I’ll send a few pictures from the ceremony. Below is Joel, Dr. O’Connell and me.