New Castle News

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May 23, 2012

Photo Gallery, Story: Hometown to remember Medal of Honor winner

NEW CASTLE — Army Spc. Leslie H. Sabo Jr. has been fittingly honored in Washington, D.C. for his ultimate sacrifice in Cambodia.

Now, his home town and county of Lawrence want to bestow more accolades on the Medal of Honor recipient, who was killed while protecting his platoon in battle May 10, 1970 in the Vietnam War.

A monument will bear his name in his hometown of Ellwood City, and the Ewing Park Bridge has been renamed for him.

Sabo, an Ellwood City native, is the third Lawrence County recipient of the Medal of Honor, the highest award for bravery that can be given to any individual in the United States.

Samuel Teolis, past commander of American Legion Post 157, attended a meeting of the county commissioners yesterday to tell them of the Ellwood City community’s plans to honor Sabo.

The legion post, in cooperation with Disabled American Veterans Chapter 112 of Lawrence County, is planning a ceremony called “A Final Tribute” for Sept. 30 to dedicate a monument in Legion Park in Ellwood City in Sabo’s memory.

The monument will bear the full citation given to him, engraved in either bronze or granite.

Teolis has established a memorial fund to raise money toward the monument effort. He collected $3,200 within the past week, he said.

The monument will be placed in the park where the cannon is located now, in front of the flagpole, Teolis said.

“We’ll move the cannon. There’s a concrete area there with two walls that was built 40 years ago.”

Sabo’s family belonged to the Christ Presbyterian Church across the street from the park, and his widow, Rose Mary Sabo-Brown, is an honorary member of the monmument committee, Teolis said.

Anyone who donates $200 or more to the cause will have their names engraved in the base of the monument, he said. Names of other donors will appear in the final tribute.

Contributors may send checks to the Sgt. Leslie H. Sabo Jr. Memorial Fund in care of Samuel Teolis, 309 Spring Ave., P.O. Box 113, Ellwood City, Pa. 16117.

According to Teolis, Legion Park displays the names of every Ellwood City area veteran who has died from World War II, forward. The names include eight who were killed in the Korean Conflict and six from the Vietnam War.

In concert with Ellwood City’s plans, the county commissioners formally adopted a resolution yesterday that officially changes the name of the Ewing Park Bridge to the Sgt. Leslie H. Sabo Jr. Memorial Bridge.

Plans for an official dedication are not yet finalized and will be announced, they said.

Teolis asked that the commissioners set a separate date for that event than the one planned for Legion Park, “so it doesn’t take away from the other one.”

“I think it’s a fitting tribute,” commented Commissioner Bob Del Signore.

“We appreciate Mr. Teolis and (Ellwood City) Mayor (Tony) Court for bringing this to our attention,” Commissioner Steve Craig added.

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