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Westwood Heritage Society
[Westwood Heritage Society]
Westwood Museum
Westwood Museum
The Passing of 'The Great Generation'

     The 'Passing of The Great Generation' exhibit, which opened in November 2008, honors the residents of Westwood who served in the nation's military during World War II and who have passed away during the passed year.

     The extraordinary service, the heroic actions and the sacrifices of the men and women of the "Great Generation" are well known more than sixteen million served during World War II and more than 290,000, including 29 Westwood residents, lost their lives while defending "our way of life".

     It also has been well publicized that the number of living members of this "Great Generation" is now decreasing at a very high rate.   And, during this past year, at least five of Westwood's surviving World War II veterans have passed away.

     This exhibit honors the actions of these men and ALL of the members of the "Great Generation" and reminds us of their actions & sacrifices, and of the debt of gratitude that later generations owe to them.

     For example, Charles Bellon, who passed away on July 28, 2008, served in the U.S. Army Air Corps (1941 - 1946) and is shown below piloting a Stearman biplane.

[Charles Bellon at the controls of a Stearman biplane]
Charles Bellon at the controls of a Stearman biplane

     Although these residents of Westwood were often thousands of miles apart during the war, their paths were interconnected by more than just their roots in Westwood.   For example, James Sealy, who passed away on September 8, 2008, and Carlton Haffler, who passed away on September 3, 2008, both were involved in the final mission of World War II, although at different times and places.   James Sealy was assigned to the Manhatten Project as a Technical Supervisor of Process Operations - K-25 (1942-1946) , and Carlton Haffler was a member of the 509th Composite Group, 58th Bomber Wing, 20th Air Force, serving as a back-up radio operator for a B-29, the Enola Gay.

[Shoulder patch for 509th Composite Group, 58th Bomber Wing]
Shoulder patch for 509th Composite Group,
58th Bomber Wing, 20th Air Force

     Additional photographs and documents of these and the other veterans, Henry Volante (U.S. Army - 1942-1946) and John Cafaro (U.S. Navy - 1943-1947, are on display.

     This exhibit was made possible by the generious loan of photographs and documents by the families of these veterans.


Last Updated: July 20, 2009 Copyright © 2008-2009