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June 1, 2003     Jewish News
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June 1,2003 Southeastern Virginia Jewish News 9 Holocaust survivor David Katz addresses crew of USS Ronald Reagan By MickeyHeld They are moving to Italy in Holocaust survivor, David Katz, addressed the crew of the Ronald Reagan, an aircraft carrier nearing completion at the Newport News Shipbuilding Yards and awaiting commissioning in July. On Tuesday, May 20, without notes, as usual, David related to the crew a moving, heartfelt story of his experiences during the Nazi OCcupation of Europe. As with all of our treasured survivors' stories, those present were emotionally affected by a tale of unthinkable evil. David answered probing questions with dignity and honor. Captain Herman Shelanski, Executive Officer of the Ronald Reagan, planned and implemented a truly memorable day. Captain Shelanski, his wife, and two chil- dren reside in Norfolk and are members of Congregation Beth El. December, where Herman will be the Commanding Officer of his own ship. They are planning on returning here in a few years. David and Maryanne Katz, Christina Bublick, Chair of the Holocaust Commission, and myself, Mickey Held, Speakers' Bureau Chair, had the pleasure and excitement of experiencing a full tour of the new aircraft carrier, guided by the Conmaanding Offi- cer, Captain Bill Goodwin (newly promoted Admiral), Captain She- lanski, and Lt. Cdr. Dave Zilber. From the Commanding Officers private quarters closely replicating the Red Room in the Reagan White House, to the flight deck which extends the size of three football fields, we were greeted and treated as celebrities by all aboard. We had the opportunity to ride the "electric deck," view the digni- taxies greeting area that was adorned with a bronze bust of Pres- ident Reagan and original brass Letter of Appreciation ! (Editor's Note: The following etter was written by Holocaust sur- Vivor David Katz, following his visit to the USS Ronald Reagan. It is being shared with the readers of the Southeastern Virginia Jewish News.) David R.Katz 828 Fallcreek Run Chesapeake VA 23322 Captain J. W. Goodwin Commanding Officer I2U Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) FPOAE 09542-2876 Wednesday 21 May 2003 bear Captain Goodwin.. On behalf of my wife Maryanne and myself, I want to thank you wholeheartedly for the Warm reception accorded us dur- ing our visit to the Ronald Rea- gan yesterday. We were truly in awe at the size of the ship, and we appreciated the guided tour during which you pointed out so many of the details of that mag- rfificent aircraft carrier. It is regrettable that President Reagan is no longer in a condition to be able to see this great Lady of the Seas beating his name. He would rightfully be proud. To say that I was honored to address your crewmembers dur- ing your Days of Remembrance Celebration would be an under- statement. As difficult as it is for me to relive the horrors of the Holocaust, the respect that I get from my audiences makes that task very pleasant indeed. Also, I get the greatest satisfaction of all when I have the opportunity to speak to members of the Mili- tary. You cannot imagine the great pride and respect that I have for our armed forces, and when you are exposed to some- thing as magnificent as we were yesterday, simple words cannot express how proud we really were. I have made arrangements to have three copies of our book "TO LIFE" autographed by the survivors at our next Holocaust Commission meeting, and will send them to you, Captain She- lanski, and Lt. Cdr Zilber. Again, my sincere thanks for giving my wife and I a day we will never forget, and for rein- forcing our pride in our great Navy and this great country, the United States of America. Sincerely yours, David R.Katz Executive Officer Capt. Herm Shelanski, Maryanne and David Karz, Mickey Held, Christina Bublick and Capt. Bill Goodwin aboard the USS Ronald Reagan. fixtures from older carriers, and were treated to a formal lunch in the officers' dining room. In addi- tion, each of us was presented with a Ronald Reagan'hat embroidered with our names. On that beautiful day in May, Christina and I had the privilege of escorting David and Maryanne on a speaking engagement. We were rewarded with a remarkable expe- rience and a phenomenal view of the power and grandeur of our United States Navy and this great country. With pride, we can say the Ronaid Reagan's motto, "Peace Through Strength," is embodied in its structure and crew. Marvanne and David Katz by bronze bust of President Reagmi. Please join e Vaad for brunch On Father's Day June 15, 2003 9:.00 AM until 1:00 PM B'nai Israel Synagogue Enjoy brunch in a caf6 setting With an ala Carte menu that includes Your favorite brunch items from Blintzes to quiche Children's selection, too by con at 626.3435 or