Source: The Buffalo News
By: Lou Michel
Date: September 22, 2017
Earlier this week Jerry Reilly’s 91-year-old cousin sat on the porch of her Old First Ward home the two had shared as children.
She reminisced about the World War II sailor who died 75 years ago with the five Sullivan brothers and nearly 700 other shipmates aboard the USS Juneau.
Betty Barrett did not hold back in sharing Reilly’s tough upbringing. She knew it would be tempered by the praise her cousin received at Friday’s memorial service on the cobblestone sidewalk next to the USS The Sullivans at Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Military Park.
The story of the Sullivan brothers is well known. From Iowa, they had all enlisted following the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. Despite resistance from the Navy, they were granted their wish to “stick together” and were all assigned to the doomed Juneau.