The monthly Veterans Breakfast was held at the Senior Center on Feb. 11, one week later than usual due to inclement weather on the first Friday of the month. Fairview Estates, Dunkin’ and the Hopkinton Garden Club supported the breakfast with generous contributions.
Veterans shared experiences on many subjects, beginning with an examination of military events that happened throughout history on 11 February. There were in-depth discussions of the heroic exploits of three specific Hopkinton veterans of World War II.
Robert C. Sebilian, USMC, retired as a major, earned a Silver Star at Bougainville in 1944, and a Purple Heart at the Pusan Perimeter in South Korea in 1950.
Charles M. Zettek, Army Air Corps, as a captain, flew 27 bombing missions as the lead bombardier in B-17s. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for valor in combat three times, and the Air Medal for surviving more than 25 missions. Sobering thought: the 8th Air Force in Europe lost more men than the entire Marine Corps did in World War II.
Alverie G. Paradis, U.S. Army, a sergeant with the 8th Armored Division in Holland (his second “hitch”), earned the Bronze Star for valor, the Purple Heart and many other decorations. Night patrols regularly probed into Germany. In February 1945, his 11-man patrol was dispatched into terrain that was heavily mined and booby-trapped. It was there, while crawling forward, Al rolled onto an anti-personnel German shoe box mine (many names for the same explosive). Al lost his arm. After discharge, Al was at Cushing Hospital, which then was a part of the VA system. In time Al married his pretty nurse, Rita. They were together for 59 years.
The lives of departed veterans become more vivid with the help of the Hopkinton veterans photo gallery (hcam.tv/series/veterans/slideshow.shtml), which can be seen in the accompanying photo. Some of the veterans who contributed to the breakfast discussion are shown flanking the photo gallery. There are more than 600 photos that can be sequenced or “rolling” to speed the viewing.
— Recap submitted by Hank Allessio