EDITORIAL: Las Vegas D-Day veteran finally gets his Purple Heart

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Las Vegas Review-Journal

October 7, 2021 - 10:46 pm

Today, we connection a interruption from governmental controversies, partisan warfare and societal media sniping to item the communicative of Las Vegas nonmigratory Onofrio Zicari, a existent American hero.

Mr. Zicari, 98 years old, was among the hordes of soldiers sent into a tempest of German machine-gun occurrence connected the beaches of Normandy connected June 6, 1944, amended known arsenic D-Day. The violative faced trouble from the commencement erstwhile beardown winds blew the landing trade astray. The archetypal question of combatants stood small accidental with the fortified force perched connected the bluffs looking down connected the unfastened beaches.

“Able Company has planned to wade ashore successful 3 files from each boat, halfway record going first, past flank files peeling disconnected to close and left,” subject historiographer S.L.A. Marshall recounted successful a harrowing 1960 portion for The Atlantic. “The archetypal men retired effort to bash it but are ripped isolated earlier they tin marque 5 yards. Even the lightly wounded dice by drowning, doomed by the waterlogging of their overloaded packs.”

Mr. Zicari, an Army backstage hardly aged capable to ballot astatine the time, was successful the 1st Infantry Division and deed Omaha formation arsenic portion of the 5th question thrown into the mayhem. He sustained shrapnel wounds to his genu and enarthrosis and was pinned down by German occurrence but made it done the landing zone. The medic who took attraction of him aboriginal that nighttime was killed soon after, and Mr. Zicari’s injuries were ne'er documented.

Mr. Zicari aboriginal saw enactment astatine the Battle of the Bulge, the past large German violative of the war. He returned to Normandy successful 2019 for the 75th day of the landings.

For much than 7 decades, however, the subject ne'er knew astir the carnal sacrifices endured by Mr. Zicari during his service. But that changed this year.

Mr. Zicari had been featured connected “ABC News Tonight” acknowledgment to his presumption arsenic a surviving D-Day veteran. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman wrote to web anchor John Muir successful April to constituent retired that Mr. Zicari had ne'er been decently honored. “I americium definite it did not travel up successful your conversations with him due to the fact that helium is simply a precise humble man,” Ms. Goodman wrote, “but it troubles maine greatly that helium ne'er received the Purple Heart that he’s entitled to owed to wounds sustained successful conflict for our country.”

On Wednesday, the subject made amends, and Mr. Zicari was presented with his medal during a ceremonial successful the Las Vegas City Council chambers. Several retired and progressive subject members were successful attendance. “I’m conscionable overwhelmed with everybody here,” Mr. Zicari said, “and I privation you each bully luck and God bless you.”

They don’t telephone it the Greatest Generation for nothing.

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