OLD FORGE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — On this week’s Veterans Voices, we revisit a special night in November when old meets new, helping to spotlight a special bond between warriors past and present.
Veterans day at the Gino Merli Center in Scranton was no ordinary day with the Abington Heights Middle School band kicking things off on the right note.
It’s called “Light Up the Night” showcasing 80 plus trees adorned in red, white and blue LED lights all around the center. It was a pandemic safe way for residents to enjoy the show from the safety of their windows.
A few veterans were allowed front row socially distanced seats. But amid the pomp and circumstance was a vision of the future members of ROTC from the University of Scranton. Organizers say there’s a camaraderie among older veterans and soldiers in training that’s hard to describe.
“They speak with each other. It’s intergenerational. They’re all military-minded, so it’s great to see the connection and the interchange between the generations,” said Jim Miller, Commandant at Gino Merli Veterans Center.
Among that front row of veterans was 98-year-old Stanley Frable of Old Forge. He joined the marine corps in 1946. He credits the Gino Merli staff with keeping him busy and healthy.
“I enjoy everything they have. They have something going on almost every day of the week. If it’s not bingo it’s something else. They keep us active all the time,” said Frable.
Staff at Gino Merli tell Eyewitness News they hope to continue the “Light Up the Night” show next year as well.