NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There was a really particular Veterans Day reunion on Thursday in Queens. Households traveled throughout the nation for a touching shock.
A Silver Star, one of many nation’s highest army medals, was returned to family of a younger New Yorker who made the final word sacrifice attempting to save lots of one other soldier In World War II, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported solely.
Members of the family mentioned it’s an unbelievable story of brotherhood on the battle area — three males certain collectively by destiny, future and sacrifice. And their households got here collectively for the primary time 76 years later.
All of them gathered across the grave in Queens of 21-year-old New Yorker William Kane, who was killed in Germany simply earlier than the tip of World Struggle II. Kane’s family had no thought till just lately that he died a hero.
“All we knew he was harm in a tank explosion. We didn’t know he went in to save lots of anyone,” nephew Danny Sullivan mentioned.
The story got here to mild after a Purple Coronary heart was just lately present in a sort out field from a Midwestern flea market. It belonged to the soldier Kane tried to save lots of, Edward Ryan.
The Purple Coronary heart was returned to Ryan’s household by the group Purple Hearts Reunited, which found the bravery of the 2 crew members who tried to save lots of Ryan from their tank beneath enemy hearth.
Ryan didn’t make it and neither did Kane.
“Uncle Billy went again in at 21 years outdated together with his lieutenant as a result of nobody will get left behind,” mentioned Maureen Sullivan, Kane’s niece.
The heroic lieutenant was Thomas Carr. His grandson, Mark Suthard, traveled from Florida to hitch the households on the grave.
“That is one in every of one million moments of heroism in that battle,” Suthard mentioned.
Kane’s household was stunned with a particular present — Pvt. First Class Kane’s Silver Star.
The image of gallantry had been packed away in a dusty field of his younger widow, who by no means spoke of her loss. Her household from New Jersey discovered the Silver Star in 2006, however by no means new its significance till now.
“I used to be selecting up bins. They have been falling half. However I discovered the Silver Star,” mentioned Betty Ann Easton, the widow’s daughter-in-law. “It represents the most effective of our nation and why we’re all right here, why we proceed to reside in freedom.”
The story of the sacrifice of all three males will now reside on.
“It took generations to get right here and it’ll keep in our household and be cherished endlessly,” Sullivan mentioned.
Purple Hearts Reunited, a nonprofit, has returned greater than 850 medals of valor to households and museums. Way more than simply metallic and material, they’re the symbols of veterans’ sacrifice and the liberty we owe to them.
“It’s an honor to serve those that have served, to make sure their tales are resurrected in the event that they’ve been buried and reside on,” mentioned Erin Religion Allen, director of Purple Hearts Reunited.
It’s by no means too late to recollect and honor gallantry, bravery and the sacrifice of so many.
Lt. Carr, the one survivor of the tank assault, additionally acquired a Silver Star for his actions, in 1945.
https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2021/11/11/veterans-day-silver-star-william-kane-world-war-ii-purple-hearts-reunited/ | Silver Star Returned 76 Years Later To Household Of Fallen Hero Soldier From New York Who Tried To Save Others – CBS New York