In the fall of 1945 World War II had drawn to a close. The troops were coming home, rationing was over. It was hoped that the war was behind us. Nations from around the world gathered together to form the United Nations, their goal, to establish peace in the world, yet there was still unrest on the horizon. Before long, there was another war. This time it was in the Korean Peninsula, which even today, 70 years later has not been resolved. Treaties have not been signed by the North Koreans, the South Koreans and the United States of America, although discussions are still ongoing.
Stanley Anthony Savaryn
Stanley Anthony Savaryn was born on the 16th of August 1931 in South Bound Brook, New Jersey, the son of Stanley Savaryn Sr., a cabinet maker and Rose Luta. Shortly after completing High School, Mige, as he was known by his friends and family joined the United States Air Force. He became a mechanic and served his country for four years. (1950-1954). During this time he was an in-flight refueling operator.
The Americans had a base in Kevlafik, Iceland and most of the refueling of aircrafts was done over Greenland during the Korean War.
“In Flight Refueling Operator – Operates air refueling systems aboard aircraft tanker to refuel airborne aircraft: Confers with receiver aircraft pilot to direct aircraft into air refueling position, using radio. Presses buttons and switches on control panel to extend in-flight boom and connect tanker and receiver aircraft. Presses button to start refueling process. Monitors control panel light to detect equipment malfunctions. Contacts receiver aircraft pilot, using radio to inform pilot of progress being made during refueling, to advise pilot of action necessary to maintain safe refueling position, and inform pilot of steps to be taken during equipment malfunction or emergencies. Calculates in-flight weight and balance status of aircraft and notifies tanker pilot of necessary flight correction..”
After his tour of duty in the Air Force, Mige returned home and worked as a mechanic. In the summer of 1957 he married my sister, Ruth and they settled in Martinsville, New Jersey and had two sons, Peter and Joey. Mige was a handy man. In his spare time he could be found in his workshop or in fine weather tending to his huge vegetable garden. One of Ruth’s loves was their in-ground pool. Mige kept it pristine.
Mige began working as a purchasing agent for a chemical company and although it was a long daily commute, it still gave him more time to work on projects. He always had a project on the go and if he didn’t, you can be sure Ruth would find one.
Years went by and Mige never talked about his time in the service and it was only in his later years that he would often think about his buddies who didn’t come home. He informed his sons that he wished to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery outside of Washington, DC. and that my sister, Ruth was to be buried with him.
Arlington National Cemetery Photograph by Paul Lindell
Mige passed away in November of 2008 and Ruth followed him in February 2010. It took quite some time to plan the burial ceremony. November 1, 2012, a bright sunny autumn day, we gathered in Arlington National Cemetery to witness an emotional ceremony. There was a twenty-one gun salute, the playing of taps in the distance and the traditional folding and presentation of the flag to the oldest family member of the immediate family. In this case it was my nephew Peter, their oldest son. We then made our way to the columbarium section and placed several items within. I asked nephew Joe to place a Canadian dime with the ‘Bluenose’ in the columbarium for the couple to sail away to Paradise and in honour of Mige’s service, a Canadian Quarter with the bright red poppy in the centre was also placed beside the dime.
Photograph by Claire Lindell
Our day was not over. We made our way to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Changing of the Guard. There, while witnessing the changing of the guard we experienced tearful moments watching, with many others, as the soldiers honoured their fallen comrades. It was a very moving tribute that is repeated continuously day in day, day out.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – Changing of the Guard
Photograph by Claire Lindell