A veterans’ memorial park was dedicated in honor of Bob Craner (Misty 17) in Cohoes, New York on May 20, 2006.
The following article by Don Shepperd:
March 23rd was declared Bob Craner Day in Cohoes (pronounced cuHose) NY by Mayor John MacDonald. Channel 9 out of Albany covered the event. Located about 15 miles north of Albany, Cohoes is a typical, old, upstate New York mill town that has seen better days and is struggling to come back. The ceremonies started with dinner on Wednesday night at an Italian restaurant with local vets, followed Thursday by an assembly at the local high school at which the mayor presided, followed by a visit to the to-be-renovated Bob Craner Veterans Memorial Park, a walk up to Bob’s old home along the streets where he played as a boy, followed by a visit to the local Cohoes visitors center with extensive Bob Craner and family memorabilia, including a video, and attended by Congressman McNulty, followed by lunch at a historic (Cohosier-style) restaurant, then a dinner at the Cohoes Elks club on the Hudson River, with local vets and families MC’ed by the mayor and attended by local area politicians.
The fetes were attended by Mistys, Don Jones and wife Freddie, Jonesy Jones and brother Dana, Ray Bevivino and wife Dianne, Gerrit Van Ripper and wife Betty, Vic Macomber, Guy Gruters, me, and guest of honor, Bob’s son, Lorne Craner.
Guy Gruters and Lorne Craner gave superb speeches at the high school and dinner, Guy about his imprisonment with Bob and their attempts to save Lance Sijan, and Lorne about memories of his father and lessons of character and courage learned from his father’s example.
The entire fest was a touching tribute to Bob and his memory – many family members, Bob’s brother Jack, uncles, aunts, cousins and second cousins were there and Lorne heard many things about his father and family that he did not know. We all enjoyed ourselves and thanked the Cohoes vets for their efforts on behalf of Bob Craner and family. The vets also asked us to pass their appreciation to those who sent letters of regret and contributions.
The newly renovated Bob Craner Veterans Memorial Park is now open and the roadway into town alongside the Hudson River and park was renamed “Bob Craner Parkway.” – all the events were a fitting tribute to a good man and Misty comrade who brought honor to his family, his town, his Air Force and his nation – Bob Craner was a quiet, humble man – RIP