SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

June 28, 2013

Ceremony tomorrow for a special veterans square

SALEM — The final chapter in the long and — for many years — unknown story of a World War II soldier will be written tomorrow.

Family and friends will gather at 10 a.m. at Bridge and Arbella streets to dedicate the corner to U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Mieczyslaus “Mashie” Miaskiewicz, who grew up on Arbella Street.

The 27-year-old former leather worker was a crew member on a B-17 bomber shot down in 1944 over the former Yugoslavia. His devoutly Catholic family had attended a military burial in a Long Island Cemetery soon after the war only to receive the stunning news two years ago that his true remains had been found, along with a crucifix, rosary beads and dog tag, in a remote hillside grave in Bosnia.

Mashie was brought back home in 2011 and buried here on a Veterans Day weekend.

The public is invited to attend the veterans square dedication Saturday and a reception afterward at the Witch City VFW Post on Derby Street.

License to leave

Are we wrong or has John Casey been on the Licensing Board since the days of Al Capone and bootlegged liquor in Chicago? It just seems like forever.

Casey was there before Tavern in the Square, O’Neill’s Irish pub and Gulu-Gulu — before almost every gin joint in town.

Appointed in 1995 by former Mayor Neil Harrington, Casey served with a host of liquor luminaries including John Boris, Jim Fleming, Peter Merry, Harold Blake and, if memory serves, Nathaniel Bowditch.

It took some doing to replace the long-serving Mr. Casey.

Mayor Kim Driscoll was all set to appoint local banker Gina Flynn until a fly fell into the ointment.

City Councilor Todd Siegel, a lawyer, mucked the whole thing up by being the only person in the city aware of a state law requiring the Licensing Board to maintain political balance in its membership. Don’t you hate it when the city starts following the law?

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