Jones Beach Air Show this weekend

May 26, 2010 2:30:44 PM PDT
All eyes will be in the sky for the annual Jones Beach Air Show this weekend.

History will be on display with vintage World War II planes.

We are losing our World War II vets, so their stories, their memories and their keepsakes are vital to preserving the history of that era.

At 89 years old, Michael Colamonico memory is sharper than most men half his age. The World War II veteran flight engineer was shot down by the Germans in 1943 and spent close to a year and a half in the POW camp known as Stalag 17.

"I close my eyes and saw my entire young life went before me. What did I do to deserve this?" he explained.

During that time, Colamonico used crayons to chronicle his feeling thru art in his war journal and he saved everything from the daisies that grew around the camp and gave him hope to the barbed wire that symbolized his confinement.

"I didn't see it as an archive. I saw it as a personal possession that I wasn't going to throw away," Colamonico said.

To this day, Colamonico reminisces as he sifts through his own archives at his home in Huntington Station.

With 1500 veterans dying each day, in many cases their stories die with them. All of the precious memories, the question is how do we share them with the restore of the world.

At the Air Power Museum in Farmingdale, history can be preserved through technology, and the shoebox filled with memories ends up here.

Larry Starr is the museums archivist and encourages war veterans to bring in their memorabilia and have pictures or keepsakes digitally scanned.

Because of the effort to save the past, Colamonico and other vets have a permanent space in the museum and an even bigger place in history.


Jones Beach Air Show:

American Airpower Museum