Elmira, N.Y. (WENY) - 50 years ago to the day, Joe Brewer made the ultimate sacrifice.
After enlisting in the Marine Corps, Brewer was killed in action during the Vietnam war on February 6th, 1968. Honor Guard Sergeant Tom Bruner says, "Joe had a pretty safe job in Vietnam, until he decided he didn't want to be safe anymore and he requested to go out in the field and he was only in the field a short time when he was killed by enemy bullets during the Tet Offensive in 1968."
Though 50 years has passed, Brewer's sacrifice has not been forgotten. Today, loved ones and community members gathered at St.Peter and Paul's cemetery to honor him on the anniversary of his death. Brewer's niece Bernadette Mcclelland says, "It's just such an honor because it's been 50 years, and sometimes you don't think about the fact, you know, our veterans... I don't think they're getting honored as much as they should and it's just a wonderful, wonderful thing that the community did for my Uncle Joe."
Throughout the community, Brewer's impact is still felt. Bruner says, "Joe is so special to us, our detachment's named after him. The Notre Dame High School football field is named the Brewer Memorial Stadium to honor Joe and every year, both on memorial day and veterans day, we're right here at this grave site honoring Joe."
Bruner sums it up best saying, "He was an unsung hero of this community."