Rep. John Katko Announces Legislation to Name Fayetteville Post Office for CNY WWII Veteran, George H. Bacel
FAYETTEVILLE, NEW YORK – U.S. Rep. John Katko (NY-24) today announced the introduction of bipartisan legislation to honor the life of Fayetteville World War II veteran, George H. Bacel. Rep. Katko was joined by Bacel’s four children and extended family, as well as Mayor of Fayetteville Mark Olson and representatives for ClearPath for Veterans, in making the announcement this morning at the Fayetteville Town Hall.
Corporal George H. Bacel served as a United States Marine during World War II, and passed away on March 3, 2010 at the age of 89. He was a husband, father, and active and valuable member of the Fayetteville and Manlius community. A graduate of Fayetteville High School, he enlisted with the Marine Corps in 1941, on the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and served in the Pacific Theatre. He bravely defended America in several battles, fighting in New Guinea, Guadalcanal, and Cape Gloucester, and was discharged with the Good Conduct Medal in 1945. Following his return to Central New York, he owned and operated Fayetteville Hairstylists for thirty years, and he started the local American Legion in Manlius. He worked for a number of years at the Fayetteville Post Office located at 599 East Genesee Street. Rep. Katko’s legislation would designate that same post office as the “Corporal George H. Bacel Memorial Postal Facility.”
“George Bacel loved his family, his country, and our community. The day after the attack on our nation at Pearl Harbor, he selflessly volunteered to serve,” said Rep. John Katko. “But his service did not end when he returned home to Fayetteville. He was active in his community, operating a local business and working to open the Manlius American Legion to support veterans. Placing Corporal Bacel’s name on the Post Office where he worked will serve as a tribute to not only his brave defense of America, but also his lasting contributions to this community.”
Corporal Bacel’s oldest daughter, Judy Schuth, spoke at this morning’s announcement, stating, “The family of George Bacel would like to thank Congressman Katko for initiating this dedication. We never saw this coming. Our Father, George Bacel, always did what he believed to be the ‘Right Thing’ -- never looking for recognition. This honor only affirms the pride we hold in our hearts. He was one of the thousand young men who stood in long lines to enlist the day after Pearl Harbor and was sent off to war with the high school band playing and flags waving. His love of country held on throughout his life. In the flag that flew outside his home, and his dedication to honoring, helping and supporting our vets. He knew what PTSD was before it had a name and he felt a kinship to all warriors ‘who had been there,’ as he said. He never wanted us to serve, but he instilled in us a pride and a love for our country.”