COMMENTARY - The Future of Veterans Park in Stamford, CT - Part 2

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Stamford, CT business leaders have issued an RFP (Request for Proposal) for the renovation of Veterans Park (a link to the RFP is posted below). 
The RFP is clear that the renovation is driven by commercial interests of the Stamford Town Center and Downtown Special District (DDSD) and not to those who served in the armed forces of the United States. Cities and towns across America have placed their Veterans Parks prominently for all to see and to remember. It is sacred ground. The 12 page document barely mentions our Veterans. 
The estimate to renovate the Park is $7 million. Where is the money coming from? The City of Stamford has failed to replace the parking garage at the railroad station. The Stamford station is one the largest transportation hubs in the nation second only to Grand Central Station. 
Many believe the Memorials and statues are in jeopardy. 
It is time the Mayor, our local congressman and United States Senator get involved.

Link to Veterans Park RFP


Saturday, September 19, 2015

For the afternoon of June 14, 1944, in Italy, when he “threw everything but the tank” at opposing German forces to enable his platoon and battalion to continue their steady advance against the enemy, Staff Sergeant Homer L. Wise has been awarded the Medal of Honor, the War Department announced today. The Medal will be presented overseas.

In winning the award  the 27-year old Infantryman saved the life of a comrade lying wounded under grazing machinegun and rifle fire; used
a submachinegun to wipe out a German officer and two enemy soldiers
halting the advance with automatic fire; employed rifle grenades to clear out entranced Germans who had pinned down his platoon;turned to a Browning  automatic rifle to neutralize a machinegun nest in the path of his men, and finally cleared a stoppage from a tank machinegun while under enemy fire and rode the tank through flanking fire as he directed the driver with his fire.

Born in Baton Rouge , Louisiana, he was employed there as a gas station attendant before he entered the Army on November 9, 1941. His mother, Mrs. Hattie Wise, lives at R.F.D. 4, Baton Rouge. He is not married.

His fellow soldiers in the action, which took place near Magliano, Italy, described afterwards how he refused to allow his squad to be held up by deadly enemy fire that drove them to the ground each time they attempted an  advance.  Each time he went ahead alone to remove the obstacles.

Commanding Officer of his company in the 142d Regiment of the 36th Infantry Division, Captain John T. Johnson of Liberty, South Carolina, described the events he observed.
  “When we were  stopped by heavy machinegun and rifle fire at the start  of the assault on the enemy-occupied ridge a wounded man lay in front under the fire. Sergeant Wise worked his way through the fire to reach the man and carry him back to where aid could be given.  In doing so he saw that automatic fire was coming from the flank from automatic weapons operated by a German officer  and two men.  He took a tommy gun and stood up to advance on them.  He killed all three and we moved on.”

  “When we were again held up by entranced Germans to our front, he took 15 rife grenades and moved to the front into their positions.  But the  platoon was again pinned down by machine gun fire from the front and he knew the range was too great for his submachinegun.  He got a Browning automatic  and went ahead and neutralized the machinegun with his fire.”

Private First Class Thomas Paramly of  Granite City, Illinois, described the advance to the ridge where they were again held up and where a tank, which advanced to the aid of the infantrymen was forced to “buttonup” because of the intense enemy fire.

“The tank’s turret machinegun was out of action and the tank driver could not find the Germans through the tank slits. Seeing this, Sergeant Wise walked into the fire and climbed to the turret. He was warned the turret machinegun was out of action, but with fire coming from all sides he cleared the stoppage  and turned it on the  enemy implacements.  His fire directed the tank driver to the hidden nests.

The situation credits his act with reducing enemy fire from an adjacent ridge so effectively that the battalion was able to occupy its objective.

Copyright 2011 The Homer L. Wise Memorial Committee, Inc.