Burns holds ceremony honoring local military hero

Local bridge named for man who gave his life in service of his nation

EBENSBURG, Sept. 10 – With the 20th anniversary of September 11th around the corner, state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, today held a ceremony to memorialize a local hero who gave his life in service to our nation.

“Mike Capelli was a young man from Nanty-Glo when he, like thousands of other young men, shipped off to Europe to stop the greatest evil our nation has known,” Burns said. “His – and their – selfless service is especially poignant today, as we remember those who lost their lives 20 years ago, and all of those who have stepped up to defend our great nation.”

Burns joined Capelli’s family today at the Cambria County War Memorial in Johnstown for an official ceremony naming the Technical Sergeant Mike Capelli Memorial Bridge on State Route 3041 in Jackson Township, Cambria County. The memorial was made possible thanks to legislation Burns had introduced earlier this year and that was later unanimously adopted by the House.

A native of Nanty-Glo, Capelli served in the U.S. Army during World War II. During his service, he was wounded many times and performed many acts of heroism for which he was decorated during his tours of Italy, Germany and France.
On Jan. 8, 1945, in Wildenguth, France, Technical Sergeant Capelli was shot and killed while organizing his men during an attack by a reinforced band of German SS Troopers. His awards include the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star and Purple Heart with two Oak Leaf Clusters.