Gino Merli fought bravely in World War II, was celebrated by President Truman, and then went on to dedicate his life to veteran’s issues. His story will be told through a one-man play, on Nov. 14 at Crestwood High School, preceded by a performance by the high school’s chorus, specifically aimed toward those who sacrificed to keep our country free.
“We’re doing it to honor the servicemen and women in the area,” explained Charles Herring, who teaches American History at the high school. “We’re doing this as a way to pay homage to them.”
The event is the first public Veteran’s Day program to be implemented at Crestwood and was the idea of new Superintendent Joseph Gorham and the high school’s Assistant Principal Joseph Delluso.
Along with Herring, the two wanted to put on a program that valued the military and honored its sacrifices, while educating the youth of Crestwood on the meaning of Veteran’s Day. The event, held in the high school’s auditorium at 7 p. m. on Nov. 14, will be $3 for adults, $2 for students, and free to all servicemen and women.
“We were looking for something special for the presentation,” related Herring of finding the Merli play. Written by Thomas Fannery and performed by Robert Shlesinger, the drama is called, “The Last Thoughts of Gino Merli.”
An actor playing Merli, a Scranton native who passed away in 2002, tells the story of the son of a miner who was called to service in 1944. He served in the 18th Infantry Division