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Korean War Veteran Peter Carlo and his wife of nearly 65 years, Mary Ann, have made their mark on the world in many remarkable ways, especially in Jamestown, New York. Among their greatest contributions is their ongoing patriotic mission to contribute American Flags – now numbering 286 – to local schools, churches, charitable foundations, government and veteran’s organizations, businesses and many more.
Their most recent contribution was to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on the occasion of his August 3 visit to Jamestown announcing a major state grant to the National Comedy Center. Peter and Mary Ann presented the governor with a flag that once flew over the nation’s capital.
Cuomo sent his personal thanks to the Carlos, saying, “It was great having you both with us… Thank you very much again for joining us and for the flag – I was honored by your great thoughtfulness.”
Veteran’s Day 2017 marks a fitting day to recognize Peter once more. Though Veterans Day, once called Armistice Day, celebrated the end of World War I since its first commemoration on November 11, 1919, the bravery and patriotism it represents clearly befits Peter Carlo’s own heroism in battle and patriotism in peacetime.
Serving as a front-line machine-gunner through five major battles in the Korean War, Carlo’s active service ended with grenade-shrapnel in both legs. Back home he continued serving, once as Commander of the Disabled American Veterans Post Chapter 47 and another time as chair of the Disabled Boy Scouts of New York State. With Mary Ann at his side he also proudly took up the mission of awarding American flags wherever they could recognize and encourage the same spirit he had so honorably served.
Veterans Day represents the Carlos’ ideals in many other memorable ways a soldier, patriot and veteran like Peter Carlo would understand.
While Veterans Day pays tribute to veterans who survived various wars, Peter also honors its counterpart, Memorial Day, in memory of those battlefield comrades who lost their lives in wartime.
Peter is one of more than 12 million military veterans who are still alive today, more than 10 percent of whom are female.
Peter certainly qualifies as a veteran. The first use of the word “veteran” can be traced back to 1789. It comes from the Old English language and means “old, experienced soldier.”
An American soldier was buried at the national cemetery in Arlington on November 11, 1921. His identity was unknown, and the gravesite is known as the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.” A guard from the Society of the Honor Guard stands watch over the grave each year on Veterans Day, and the president or another high-ranking member of the government places a wreath on the grave.
To all veterans and their loved ones and to our friend Peter Carlo in particular this year, the Jamestown Gazette wishes you Happy Veterans Day, thank you for your service and lets all keep our flags flying proudly.