Locals gather at Hellriegel’s for Pearl Harbor Remembrance
Hellriegel’s Inn was the site of the annual Pearl Harbor Remembrance Dinner on Dec. 7.
The banquet hall was replete with moving memorabilia, including wartorn battle flags taken from the USS Enterprise.
There were also captured German and Japanese flags and other service flags on display in addition to striking Pearl Harbor related images.
The event dates to 1964 when original owner and World War II veteran Bill Kochever determined that more should be done to memorialize the brave soldiers who put their lives on the line for the cause of freedom, according to a news release.
The dinner began as a modest affair that saw Kochever invite his fellow shipmates that were stationed aboard the aircraft carrier the USS Enterprise, the release continued.
The dinner continued for 30 years until Kochever’s death in 1995. New owners — and veterans — Silvio Trifiletti and Albert Di Iorio re-started the tradition in 1999.
“Both Silvio and I attended many Pearl Harbor dinners over the years and we wanted to continue the dinners so people will remember Pearl Harbor. We don’t want it to become a footnote in the history books. We will continue to remember Pearl Harbor with our dinner as long as we are the owners,” said Di Iorio in the release.
“We’ve done away with the uniform wearing and veterans only requirement. Now anyone, veteran or civilian, in uniform or not can attend the dinner,” he continued.
This year’s featured guest speaker was retired Lt. Col. Gary Minadeo. A West Point graduate, Minadeo spent 25 years in the Army as a Senior Personnel Officer, Platoon Leader, Assistant Flight Operations Officer, and Flight Safety Officer with the 2nd Armored Division in Germany and Company Commander with the 1-14th Aviation Regiment.
Veterans mingle before taking their seats for the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Dinner at Painesville Township’s Hellriegel’s Inn.