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Students To Present WWII Oral History Project

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An oral history produced by students at Linton Middle School presents mages of World War II, and the spoken memories of some who served.

It’s a story told by a dwindling number of veterans. Sixteen of those veterans and World War II widows have their say in a video that will be presented Veterans Day at Seneca Hills Independent Living, a UPMC facility in Penn Hills where those histories were recorded.

“I was in reconnaissance,” recalls Clement DeFrancesco. “We would go out to find out if there was any enemy there.” He served with the First Infantry Division one in Europe.

“I was in the 79th division,” Leo Garzotti recalls. He received a purple heart. The D-Day invasion had done its work by the time they landed at Omaha Beach later that week. But memories they share with students, recorded by technology integration coach Brian Brown, paint a harrowing picture.

“They got a good indication of what war’s all about,” Brown says. “Textbooks can only do so much. They’re really getting the actual history from people who lived it.”

Stories shared by DeFrancesco and Garzottin will be cataloged by the Library of Congress.

The veterans’ oral history will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Veterans Day, Thursday, at Seneca Hills Independent Living in Verona.

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