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George Cerio

Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2013 3:00 am

The flags fluttered in the cool air Saturday morning, as the half-dozen people who held them waited in front of the VFW hall for the arrival of the wounded warrior.

I stood with them, a small American flag sticking up off my camera bag. We were waiting for the motorcycle cavalcade that accompanied the new monument destined for the front yard of the Medina VFW. I arrived a bit after 11:30 a.m. and waited with them until the procession arrived around 12:15 or so. As we stood there, the crowd did grow, as veterans, their spouses and other interested spectators came outside from the warmth of the building.

I was pleasantly surprised at the number of drivers who slowed down to wave or honk at us. The handful of people with whom I kept vigil were very friendly and waved their flags in acknowledgement. I only noticed one – ahem – attention-monger who gunned his truck’s engine in an antisocial kind of way.

I could feel the excitement building as the caravan came into sight. It was led by escorts from local police and fire departments, followed by a large number of Rolling Thunder bikers.

You can read more about the placing of the monument later on in this week’s paper. My article contains any number of details. However, it doesn’t include any mention of the conversations and reactions I witnessed as the statue was revealed. I overheard one veteran talk about tearing up when he looked into the face of the soldier being carried. He said that he had been carried out of the rice fields of Vietnam like that after being injured. There was many a similiar emotional reaction in the crowd.

One woman, Eugenia Nieves-Vinson, traveled from Virginia for this event. She was there with her two brothers, Edwin and Eduardo Marquez, who are all from Ashtabula originally. Eugenia’s son, who is a veteran, had recently passed away as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder. Edwin has a motorcycle and heard about the new monument through the biker community. Eugenia appeared overwhelmed by emotion, as the workers placed the statue.

As for myself, I was also caught up in the statue’s unveiling. It’s experiences like this that make me glad to be a reporter.

Happy birthday!

George Cerio will celebrate his 102nd birthday May 26 with family and friends at his home. He lives in Medina Township with his wife, Carolyn.

Mr. Cerio attributes his long, healthy life to not smoking, healthy eating and being physically active all his life.

He loves music, continues to play the organ, works on crossword and Sudoku puzzles and plays solitaire on his computer.

Sunrise Rotary makes donation

Rhonda Wurgler, executive director of The Children’s Center of Medina County, gratefully accepted a $10,000 check from Medina Sunrise Rotary, saying, “With Rotary’s continuing help, our corporate sponsors, widespread community support and our ‘Protector Circle,’ we have touched the lives of 1,062 kids in Medina County.”

“There was a time when children who were victims of abuse and neglect were often revictimized by the agencies and people who were supposed to help them,” explained Wurgler. “At the Children’s Center of Medina County, since 2007, we have provided a compassionate and coordinated approach with assessments and interventions in a child-friendly environment. But most importantly, child victims and their families begin the healing process sooner and experience more successful treatment outcome. Thank you Medina and thank you Rotary!”

Pictured are John Ross, Rhonda Wurgler and Vance Truman.

Library records WWII speakers

A community effort is underway to fund the recorded memories of Medina County’s World War II heroes. In 2007, the Medina Library began hosting the WWII Roundtable. It has become the most popular regular program at the library, with 100 attendees or more at every session.

Once a month, a WWII veteran, or individuals who have amazing stories to tell of the war, take the mic in front of a packed room of intent and interested guests. The program is free, the speakers don’t charge and the stories are priceless.

More than 30 speakers have been recorded, but never edited to video.

Just in time for Memorial Day, almost half of the 30 raw videos have been finished and will soon be on the shelves and available for checkout at all Medina County District Library branches. This is in thanks to several community service and veterans groups that have raised $2,400 to date. They include: the Kiwanis Club of Medina, Waite and Son Funeral Homes, Medina VFW Post 5137, American Legion Post 202, from the Estate of James Anderson, Odd Fellows Morning Star Lodge 26 and the Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW Post 5137.

The videos will also air on Brunswick Area Television and the Medina Cable Channel 36/37.

Al Korn, a member of the Kiwanis Club of Medina Board of Trustees said, “These stories are priceless. It’s important for the younger generation to understand these young men and women lived through events that changed the world. That’s true for any war or conflict, but we are losing our WWII veterans, and preserving their memories is just so important to our Kiwanis Club.”

Pictured are Al Korn and Medina Library Manager Christine Gramm, posing with the 13 videos that have been completed and a giant check showing the $2,400 that has been donated by the community so far.

Prom, prom, prom!

Well, it’s nearly time for that capstone event almost every teen girl waits for longingly: prom. Medina High School’s dance is May 18. As is tradition, we will print your prom photos free of charge.

E-mail photos of your high school prom to news@thepostnewspapers.com to be printed in The Post. To be considered for publication, you must identify everyone in the photo (first and last name) and list your school. Photos must be e-mailed in by 9 a.m. the Tuesday after the dance.

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