New Castle News

Closer Look

February 13, 2013

Man of Honor: Shenango resident earns France’s highest social, military decoration

NEW CASTLE — Andrew Aniceti never forgot the time he spent with the Army in France.

As he learned in recent weeks, France never forgot about him, either.

Today, the 89-year-old Shenango Township resident is in Washington, D.C., where he will be appointed a “Chevalier” of the French Legion of Honor, France’s highest social and military decoration. The insignia will be bestowed upon Aniceti at 3 p.m. at the French Embassy by a representative of French President Francois Hollande.

Aniceti’s congratulatory letter states that the award “is a sign of France’s infinite gratitude and appreciation for your personal and precious contribution to the United States’ decisive roll in the liberation of our country during World War II.”

The award was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to acknowledge services rendered to France by persons of exceptional merit. The Legion of Honor award criteria later was expanded to recognize contributions in various disciplines of life, including World War II veterans from the U.S. who participated in the liberation of France from Nazi Germany in 1944 and 1945.

“I was shocked when the first letter came in December,” Aniceti said. “I am very honored and humbled.”

Daughter Maria, with whom Aniceti shares a Shenango Township home, said her father has been on top of the world since he first was notified of his impending honor.

“I opened the letter and read it to him and he became very emotional,” she said. “He couldn’t believe that they would remember him after all these years.”


Aniceti was born in New Castle to an Italian father who served in World War I and French mother. Shortly after his sixth birthday, the family moved to France so his mother could be closer to her place of birth.

“My dad only spoke Italian and my mother only spoke French,” Aniceti said. “The languages were close enough that they could understand each other.

“As a result of the years I spent in my mother’s birthplace, I became very fluent in French.”

The family returned to New Castle when Aniceti was 13, but since it was the time of the Great Depression, money was hard to come by, so Aniceti joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1943 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families. A part of the New Deal of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, it provided unskilled manual labor jobs related to the conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands owned by federal, state and local governments. Aniceti spent the next five years building cabins near the current location of Seven Springs resort, sending $25 of his $30 monthly salary home to help his mother, father and three siblings.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Closer Look
  • money.jpg AFSCME, county back to bargaining table

    A courthouse labor union and county government officials hope to try a third time to reach a contract agreement. County administrator James Gagliano, who represents the county’s collective bargaining team, said talks are scheduled for May 2 between county negotiators and members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2902.

    April 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • tv04.jpg New Castle director, writer, producer filming zombie pilot locally

    The horror genre holds a special fascination for Tom Stoops. He has been a devotee of that film style since he was young. So it makes perfect sense that as a director, executive producer, writer and actor, zombies would show up in his latest project.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • money.jpg Neshannock trail to be integrated regionally

    Construction of a downtown section of the Neshannock Creek Trail is expected to commence this summer. Lawrence County planning director Amy McKinney briefed the county commissioners yesterday on a 1,400-mile trails project initiated by Power of 32.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shale royalty meeting for landowners planned

    Lawrence County residents who have questions about royalties on gas drilling leases are invited to a meeting tomorrow.

    April 23, 2014

  • Townships to pave roads

    Youngblood Paving Inc. was awarded a contract for this year’s road maintenance in North Beaver and Little Beaver townships.

    April 23, 2014

  • oneill.tiff Union principal receives award

    Union Area School District’s elementary principal will receive the 2014 Distinguished Female Educator Award. The award from the Tri-State Area School Study Council is to be presented April 24 to Linda J. O’Neill during the 12th annual Dr. Jean Winsand International Institute for Women in School Leadership at the Edgewood Country Club in Penn Hills.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Good to grow: Library to offer seed lending program

    Patrons of the New Castle Public Library will soon have another service to look forward to. For newcomers to gardening and seasoned pros, the library is having — for the first time — a seed lending program.

    April 22, 2014

  • Knives prompt reporting of school violence

    On a typical day last year, Pennsylvania schools caught 11 students toting weapons. They were knives, similar to ones used to slash 21 students and a security guard at a Pittsburgh-area high school, according to the state Department of Education.

    April 22, 2014

  • Ferannte.tiff Upholstery shop showcases music, talent

    Following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Jim Ferrante is working to improve his community.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local pastor helping fire victims

    A local pastor is opening up donation avenues to help two families who lost their homes to fire this week.

    April 18, 2014

House Ads
Seasonal Content
Section Teases
Must Read
Continuous Super Bowl Coverage