To the editor,

As Memorial Day approaches I would just like to say how proud I am of my parents.

My mom’s family ran an Italian bar/restaurant in Oswego called Sereno’s during World War II. My mom and her two sisters and seven brothers would always host parties for the soldiers when they came home on leave during World War II. The soldiers would risk their lives during the way so we could be free!

My dad would tell me how he would wear his paratrooper uniform in the bar to try and impress my mom. It took a brave 18-year-old to jump out of a plane and get shot at. I’m sure not many 18-year-old boys could do it!

My dad never talks about the war and how brave he was but later in life, I realized how fearless my dad was when I was on the fire department with him. I watched him walk into a roaring house fire alone and check the upstairs for any victims that were overcome with smoke. Me and my co-worker were packing up to go into the fire when he was walking out and said he had already checked the upstairs for victims. That’s when I realized why we won the war — that generation was unbelievably brave!

I certainly had a unique life — my dad’s father opened a restaurant on East Second and Utica called Wahrendorf’s and my mom’s dad opened an Italian bar/restaurant on the west side called Sereno’s. I’m not sure how many fights my dad got into but my mom told me he wouldn’t ever back down — he was determined to win my mom over and he was a bit jealous if some made a pass at my mom!

The Sereno’s would remind you of the Corleone family from the move “The Godfather.” They were probably the toughest family in Oswego.

My mom would always tell me, “You only have one mom and dad — always be respectful.” I was very respectful and I loved them very much and miss them. Always respect your parents!

David Wahrendorf

Oswego

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