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Friday, March 31, 2023

Family of Soldier Killed During World War II Honors His Memory Every Memorial Day Weekend

A telegraph is one of Peter Silva Srfirst .’s recollections.

His elder brother, United States Army Private First Class George Silva, was stationed in Burma in 1945.

“You knew what that meant when Western Union arrived up in those days,” Silva recalls. “When Western Union arrived at the door, my mother fell and screamed.” I was five years old at the time, and I was holding to her and weeping as well, despite the fact that I had no idea why my mother was crying.

Silva, now 82, recalls receiving notification of his brother’s death and adds, “Yes, I remember it.” “I recall that.”

About 100 of his family members attended the 75th Annual Silva Family Memorial Day Picnic during Memorial Day weekend, which included prayers at the burial of the slain hero and his parents.

It’s evolved into an homage to service as well as a celebration of family.

“How cool is this?” says the narrator. To those assembled at South Valley Park in Inver Grove Heights, Peter Silva Jr. exclaimed, “75 years!” “And it’s all due of Uncle George Silva,” says the narrator.

Martin and Gregoria Silva, George’s parents, arrived to St. Paul from west-central Mexico in search of the American dream. The expanding family resided in a boxcar in Swede Hollow, a temporary immigrant settlement on the city’s East Side, for a time. George, the couple’s eldest surviving child, was born in the same year as President Jimmy Carter, in 1924. F. Scott Fitzgerald was writing “The Great Gatsby” when Calvin Coolidge became president, and a gallon of petrol cost 11 cents.

George went to Swede Hollow’s Lincoln Elementary School, then worked at a meatpacking business in South St. Paul, and was known to like jazz music, but his youth was cut short by the war. Silva joined the war after the United States entered World War II, and on Feb. 14, 1945, he was on Burma Road, in what is now Myanmar, when disaster struck.

“He was a member of a medical team,” Peter Sr. explains. “That day, they were relocating camp from one camp to another.”

“He swapped seats with someone,” Ruth Silva, Peter Srwife, .’s adds.

“A sniper shot him,” Peter Sr. claims. “He was assassinated the day before his twenty-first birthday.”

The family gathered informally on Memorial Day, still in shock and sadness. Despite the fact that victory had been declared in Europe, the world was still at war.

“It was just my mom and dad, sisters, brother, and me,” Peter Sr. recalls. “So we went to a park,” says the narrator.

The family would not have a cemetery to meet at until 1948, when George’s remains was recovered and placed to rest in Minnesota, due to war-related delays.

Alberta, Antoinette, Lucy, Mary, Michael, and Peter, George’s siblings, grew up and had families of their own, but no one ever forgot George and his sacrifice.

“The picnic became a bit bigger every year,” Peter Sr. adds.

Following their visit to the grave, the Silvas set up their annual picnic, which has been hosted at South Valley Park in Inver Grove Heights for more than 30 years (although they skipped 2020 due to the pandemic). There was a snowfall one year, a long time ago. Tornado warnings are issued on occasion. However, there is usually some sunlight. There’s also food – a lot of it, from enchiladas to rhubarb bars. This year, there were also special T-shirts and banners to commemorate the gathering’s 75th anniversary. There were also remarks to a crowd of more than 100 people.

Before the lunch, Peter Silva Jr. told the youngsters, “Once you get a little older, you start to comprehend why we’re here.” “It isn’t simply because of the enjoyable picnic and baseball diamond.” This is a family custom that began with Uncle George… “We hope that in 25 years, we will be able to say — you will all be able to say — ‘This is the 100th year.'”

After the official remarks, Anthony Silva Jr., George’s great nephew, introduced his son, Anthony Silva III, 14, who would lead the company in a prayer before the meal.

“It’s a privilege,” Anthony III stated.

Then he started:

“Our father…” says the speaker.

George Silva died early, but his legacy appears to be bringing his family closer together.

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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