World War II Air Force veteran gives talk at Reid Middle School
Photo Gallery | WWII veteran Tony Pastore talks to Reid Middle School students
PITTSFIELD — Reid Middle School in recent years has actively introduced students to the faces and stories of area World War II veterans.
In 2012, students used the school's television studio to make a documentary about veterans for Veterans Day. Last March, the school was visited by WWII vets Paul Slater of Northampton and Ray Elliott of Amherst.
On Friday afternoon, eighth grade teacher Joseph Maffuccio invited 91-year-old Anthony "Tony" Pastore, of Pittsfield, to the school to meet with students.
Pastore served with the 524th Fighter Squadron of the 27th Fighter Group, and returned home on Dec. 8, 1945, after serving in Germany and Japan.
Students asked Pastore questions ranging from, "What was Pittsfield like before the war?" to "What do you think today would be like if the war never happened?"
Pastore told the students that Pittsfield in his time had "great schools, great teachers, many churches, many restaurants, many drugstores, and many fine department stores."
To the latter question, he replied: "It was the war that got GE (General Electric) and the woolen mills going [in Pittsfield]. However, there would be a lot of nice people around now, who were tragically lost in the war ... People would have had to obey the will of our God, and then the war would not have happened."