Post 50 SAL Trip to Italy May 2005 to Participate and Conduct in World War II 60th Anniversary Ceremonies.
On May 2nd 2005 members of Post 50 and SAL 50 participated in the WWII 60th Anniversary ceremony at the Sicily Rome American Cemetery in Nettuno Italy. The event was initiated at the suggestion of members of the Post to commemorate the date 60 years prior when the "Unconditional Surrender" was achieved by Allied forces in Italy.
Members of Post 50 participating were Post Post Commander Robert McGuirl, Frank Barbieri, and Kenneth Kraetzer from the SAL. The Department of New York was represented by State Commander Paul Cortright, who had served in Italy at a US Army base.
American speakers at the event were Ambassador Mel Sembler and Admiral Michael Mullen, who shortly after was promoted to Chief of Naval Operations, the highest ranking uniformed position in the US Navy. Speakers from the Italian government were the Minister of Defense and president of the Italian Parliament. Members of Post 50 delighted Admiral Mullen by presenting him with a framed picture of one of his commands, the USS Yorktown. Members of the crew of the Yorktown had been hosted by Post 50 and the Pelham community on Memorial Day in 2003.
Commander Cortright participated in the ceremony by presenting a wreath donated by Post 50 members and carrying a "Post 50 Pelham" ribbon. The event became a significant media event with many members of the press taking pictures of the event, upon returning to the hotel in Rome, Paul Cortright saw himself on the news show presenting the wreath.