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On this Memorial Day weekend, and on Memorial Day itself, May 30, 2006, BoeBro Ventures, Inc. and would like to honor and remember those brave men and women who paid the ultimate price so that we may be free.

Today, we remember those who gave their lives in the worldwide fight for human rights and for freedom, starting with the first American soldier and continuing still today. Today, we remember that the rights we cherish have continually been threatened, and that our soldiers have been the line between us and those threats to our freedom.

Memorial Day has become a day of picnics, grilling, and summer festivities, and it is right that we enjoy our freedoms through these modern traditions. But, we ask that as you celebrate the beginning of summer that you take a moment, and recognize through a moment of silence and prayer the sacrifices that have been made, and recognize and pay your respects not only to our lost soldiers, but to the families they left behind.

BoeBro Ventures, Inc. dedicates this page to the memory of Bert Schwarz, whose efforts kept Blairsville's Memorial Day a day of remembrance and respect.

Bert Schwarz was a WWII prisoner of war who survived the Bataan Death March and internment in Japanese POW camps. The Japanese prison ship he was being transported on was bombed by U.S. troops – unaware of the POW cargo it carried – and he was forced to swim 3 miles to the shore. Only 83 out of the 750 POWs on the ship survived.

After the Japanese surrendered to the US, Bert was asked to go back to Japan and help with reconstruction efforts with that country’s textile industry. In a year’s time, Bert had gone from being tortured in a Japanese prison camp to overseeing 20,000 Japanese workers, demonstrating an uncommon capacity for forgiveness.

After retiring to Blairsville, Bert became actively involved in our community and took active interest in bringing greater awareness about veterans and their contributions to our lives here in Blairsville.

Through the "Veterans in the Classroom" program that Bert developed, service men and women tell their stories to our high school students about the roles they played and personal challenges they faced while serving during the past military conflicts. In this way, the history of these conflicts is given a first-hand perspective and a connection is established between the students and our veterans, far beyond the dry facts contained in the books.

Bert also filled a void in Blairsville by starting the first local Memorial Day parade in 2001, deepening Blairsville's commitment to honoring our veterans who lost their lives defending our freedoms. Bert passed away on October 29, 2003 at the age of 87.


When    What Where
May 27, 2006 10:00am  Parade Downtown Blairsville
May 27, 2006 11:00am  Memorial Day Service Union County War Memorial
May 27, 2006 7:30pm  Boat Parade Cozy Cove Marina
May 29, 2006 3:00pm  National Moment of Remembrance  



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