Veteran’s Day Program Honors Service Women
Lions Gate veterans and residents solemnly gathered in Commons Hall to celebrate Veteran’s Day 2021. Lions Gate is proud to have 18 veterans in residence: Millard Braunstein, Stan Buckman, Roy Cills, Melvin Cohen, Pearl Drelich, Leonard Feldman, Lionel Gold, Norman R. Goodman, Arthur Greene, Melvin Kates, Edwin Naythons, Irvin Orel, Kenneth Rosen, Lawrence Ross, William Saslow, Frank Schade, Jerry Stein, and Muriel Troy.
This year’s program specifically honored service women, with a special presentation on “Secret Rosies: Code Breakers of World War II.” Two of Lions Gate resident veterans are women, and this program put the spotlight on Pearl Drelich, WWII Wave, Pharmacist’s Mate 3rd Class. She is one of the original residents of Lions Gate, having lived in our community for over 15 years. “Today’s program at Lions Gate has taken me quite by surprise,” said Pearl. “While I appreciate the recognition, it was truly my honor to serve.”
Pearl saw active duty 1945-1946, and was in the reserves until 1950 when she was honorably discharged. Both her older brothers served in the Army, but at 20 years old Pearl still needed her parents’ permission to enlist because she was a woman. While Pearl had many service memories to share, her favorite took place many years after she had left the Navy. “My daughter and I traveled to Normandy Beach,” said Pearl. “I chatted for a while with another Normandy visitor, and he asked about my time in the WAVES. At the end of our chat, he excused himself for a moment, and when he came back he shook my hand, and passed a coin to me. It was a Challenge coin, given by a superior officer in recognition for a duty well done. It is always exchanged in a handshake. It was only then that I realized the man I had been chatting with was a 3-Star Lt. General in the U.S. Army. That coin means the world to me.”
Thank you to all of our service men and women. You mean the world to us, and we honor your sacrifices today and everyday.
Celebrating a lifetime of honor. From left to right: Dan Drelich (son), Pearl Drelich, and Debbie Guest (daughter).