Ceremony Remembers Soldiers Killed in Train Wreck

WILKES-BARRE -- The memory of lives lost on September 11th extends long before 2001. A train wreck killed 33 soldiers from the 109th Artillery Armory in Wilkes-Barre back in 1950.

For the last 15 years, September 11th has been a day for the nation to mourn, but at the Kingston Armory, soldiers and families have been mourning their own loss on this day.

66 years ago, members of the 109th Field Artillery were on their way to training for active duty during the Korean War when their train stopped for repairs in Ohio. A passenger train named The Spirit of St. Louis collided with the troop train, killing 33 soldiers and injuring hundreds more.

"We're honoring the 33 men that were killed on our 9/11--9/11/1950.”

Joseph Anistrinski was one of the survivors. His best friend was not.

"I relive it a little bit every day," he said. "I was sleeping. The next thing I knew, somebody was helping dig me out of the wreck."

“And when I saw the engine on top of the car, that's when I realized what happened," recalled Bill Wolman.

The ceremony also honored those who lost their lives in 2001.

And while the 2001 attacks sit on the forefront of the minds of many, soldiers and families in the Wyoming Valley fear this disaster will disappear in the wind.

"And now because it's 66 years later, it's becoming ancient history. But to those of us involved, it's as if it happened yesterday."

"This valley has given so much to our country and our commonwealth. It's very important we remember that and we remember here where those people and those citizens are," said LTC Matthew Travis.