BRISTOL – The Memorial Military Museum has set up a new display in The Bristol History Room at Bristol Public Library, featuring photos, medals and memorabilia belonging to Bristol’s honored dead from World War II.
The display, set up by Carol Denehy of the Memorial Military Museum Oct. 20, will remain on display for two months at the library at 5 High St. It can be viewed during the Bristol History Room’s hours, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 6 to 7:45 p.m. The Bristol History Room will also be open for a special Saturday viewing on Nov. 24.
The display features a total of four Purple Heart medals, two of which are displayed with letters signed by then President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. These two belong to Phillip Testa and Rocco Testa, brothers who were both killed in action within nine months of each other.
The display also memorializes Frederick Woodward, Alexander Nielson, John Joseph Lynch, Edmund Zbikowski, Benny Zukowski and Gordon Foster. It includes photographs, a Navy officer’s hat, a gold star pin worn by Woodward’s mother, a navy training manual, a cross with rosary beads and a pack of cigarettes.
There is also a special bulletin from The Bristol Press announcing the death of Edmund Zbikowski, a science teacher at the Freshman High School in Bristol. He was called to the service in Nov. 1940 and was severely wounded in March 24, 1942. He died April 2 and when word reached his wife April 7, it was said that “the war had come home to Bristol.”
Jay Manewitz, Bristol History Librarian, thanked Denehy for the work that she put into the exhibit.
“I usually put up a new display each month,” he said. “But this one will be up for two months so that it can stay up through Veterans Day. This is a wonderful display that pays tribute to Bristol’s honored dead.”
Manewitz said that the Bristol History Room also features a book titled “Bristol in World War II,” which includes biographies of every Bristol soldier who fought and died in the war. It also contains a list of all those Bristol soldiers who served and much more.
“It also covers home life and organizations that supported the war effort,” said Manewitz.
There are some copies of the book in circulation at the library, but people will also be able to keep copies for themselves in exchange for a donation.
For more information on Bristol Public Library, call 860-584-7787 or visit bristollib.com.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.