Cold keeps WWII vets away from 75th anniversary of the Battle of Anzio


WASHINGTON — Voice cracking and tears flowing as much from sentiment as the cold, the daughter of a survivor of the Battle of Anzio was among those attending a wreath-laying ceremony at the World War II Memorial on Tuesday, commemorating the battle’s 75th anniversary.

“I just wish that World War II veterans could be here to see this honor for them,” JoAnne Prasnick told WTOP. Veterans who had hoped to attend were unable to because of the frigid conditions.

The Cleveland-area resident’s late father, Arthur G. Prasnick, was a sergeant in the 3rd Infantry Division and died in 2017 at the age of 97.

“My father was an extremely incredible man among thousands of men and women who gave their lives in service for a cause that was greater than themselves,” Prasnick said.

Helping lay the wreaths at the Tuesday ceremony were British and Canadian military dignitaries. From left: Chaplain Lt. Col. Todd Wolf; Cmdr. Richard McHugh; and Maj. Jeff Pederson. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Helping lay the wreaths at the Tuesday ceremony were British and Canadian military dignitaries. From left: Chaplain Lt. Col. Todd Wolf; Cmdr. Richard McHugh; and Maj. Jeff Pederson. (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
More Americans were honored for bravery at Anzio than in any other World War Two battle. Twenty-two received the Medal of Honor, 7,000 were killed and 36,000 were wounded or went missing. (WTOP/Kristi King)
More Americans were honored for bravery at Anzio than in any other World War II battle. Twenty-two received the Medal of Honor; 7,000 were killed; and 36,000 were wounded or went missing. (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
World War II Memorial volunteer Joe Gaziano said the months long campaign in Italy just prior to D-Day in France meant the Allies had the enemy on the run.
World War II Memorial volunteer Joe Gaziano said the monthslong campaign in Italy, just before D-Day in France, meant the Allies had the enemy on the run. (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
JoAnne Prasnick of Cleveland, Ohio wears a victory pin depicting her father Aurther G. Prasnick who survived the battles of Anzio and Rome. (WTOP/Kristi King)
JoAnne Prasnick of Cleveland wears a victory pin depicting her father Aurther G. Prasnick, who survived the battles of Anzio and Rome. (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
JoAnne Prasnick of Cleveland wears a victory pin depicting her father Aurther G. Prasnick, who survived the battles of Anzio and Rome. (WTOP/Kristi King)
JoAnne Prasnick of Cleveland wears a victory pin depicting her father Aurther G. Prasnick, who survived the battles of Anzio and Rome. (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
Fred Muntzner is the son of Frederick Muntzner, who was killed at The Battle of Anzio on April 18, 1944. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Fred Muntzner is the son of Frederick Muntzner, who was killed at the Battle of Anzio on April 18, 1944. (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
Fred Muntzner is the son of Frederick Muntzner, who was killed at The Battle of Anzio on April 18, 1944. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Fred Muntzner is the son of Frederick Muntzner, who was killed at the Battle of Anzio on April 18, 1944. (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
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Helping lay the wreaths at the Tuesday ceremony were British and Canadian military dignitaries. From left: Chaplain Lt. Col. Todd Wolf; Cmdr. Richard McHugh; and Maj. Jeff Pederson. (WTOP/Kristi King)
More Americans were honored for bravery at Anzio than in any other World War Two battle. Twenty-two received the Medal of Honor, 7,000 were killed and 36,000 were wounded or went missing. (WTOP/Kristi King)
World War II Memorial volunteer Joe Gaziano said the months long campaign in Italy just prior to D-Day in France meant the Allies had the enemy on the run.
JoAnne Prasnick of Cleveland, Ohio wears a victory pin depicting her father Aurther G. Prasnick who survived the battles of Anzio and Rome. (WTOP/Kristi King)
JoAnne Prasnick of Cleveland wears a victory pin depicting her father Aurther G. Prasnick, who survived the battles of Anzio and Rome. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Fred Muntzner is the son of Frederick Muntzner, who was killed at The Battle of Anzio on April 18, 1944. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Fred Muntzner is the son of Frederick Muntzner, who was killed at The Battle of Anzio on April 18, 1944. (WTOP/Kristi King)

More Americans were honored for bravery at Anzio than in any other World War II battle. Twenty-two received the Medal of Honor; 7,000 were killed; and 36,000 were wounded or went missing.

“Many men died on the beaches of Anzio. It took a long time to make headway, but eventually we prevailed,” said Friends of the World War II Memorial volunteer Joe Gaziano.

The Battle of Anzio began on Jan. 22, 1944, and ended on June 5, 1944, with the Allies’ capture of Rome just before the D-Day invasion in France.

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