Recently, in honor of World War Two veteran 2nd Lieutenant Salvatore Anthony Polisano, a tree taken from the Ardennes Forest in Germany where the “Battle of The Bulge” was fought, was planted at the Galloway Township Veteran’s Park on Route 9.
The day began with a full military honors funeral ceremony preformed by Last Salute Military Funeral Honor Guard of Atlantic County. This included picking up the urn containing the cremains of Lieutenant Polisano from his daughters house and transporting them by military funeral caisson to Holy Cross Cemetery. Full military honors including the firing of a cannon, 3volley rifle salute and Taps were preformed at the cemetery by Last Salute for the gathered family and friends.
After the rendering of honors, those attending then proceeded to Galloway’s Veteran’s Park for a ceremony which included the planting of a tree brought back by the Lieutenant’s family from the Ardennes Forest in Germany. The Ardennes Forest was the location at which the famous “Battle of The Bulge” took place. It was one of the last major battles with the Nazis in WWII. The Battle of The Bulge was a horrific battle fought in miserable, freezing and virtually untenable conditions. Many though it could not be won but due to the incredible resolve and heroism of the American soldiers, the Nazis were defeated. It was at no small cost.
The Germans’ initial attack involved 410,000 men; just over 1,400 tanks, tank destroyers, and assault guns; 2,600 artillery pieces; 1,600 anti-tank guns; and over 1,000 combat aircraft, as well as large numbers of other AFVs. These were reinforced a couple of weeks later, bringing the offensive’s total strength to around 450,000 troops, and 1,500 tanks and assault guns. Between 63,222 and 98,000 of their men were killed, missing, wounded in action, or captured. For the Americans, out of a peak of 610,000 troops, 89,000 became casualties out of which some 19,000 were killed. The “Bulge” was the largest and bloodiest single battle fought by the United States in World War II and the second bloodiest battle in American history.