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Moxie: Manlius Historical Society highlights women who fought in war

Julie Albanese and Manlius Mayor Mark-Paul Serafin hold up a photo of the six Albanese siblings who enlisted to fight in World War II. In the top row (from left) are Adam, Eva and Vannie, who were in the Army. Underneath them (from left) are Louis, Michael and Arkie (the former Manlius mayor), who joined the Navy.

Julie Albanese and Manlius Mayor Mark-Paul Serafin hold up a photo of the six Albanese siblings who enlisted to fight in World War II. In the top row (from left) are Adam, Eva and Vannie, who were in the Army. Underneath them (from left) are Louis, Michael and Arkie (the former Manlius mayor), who joined the Navy. Photo by Ned Campbell.

— Moxie. It’s defined as being courageous, gutsy and brave. And the women who joined the United States of America’s war efforts in the early 20th century had no shortage of it.

The Manlius Historical Society Museum’s current exhibit is dedicated to the women who defied societal expectations and fought in war, and gives special recognition to three local patriots — Dorothy Adams of Kirkville, Eva Albanese of Manlius and Theresa Zupan of Manlius.

“The dedication and service of the Albanese, Zupan and Heagerty enlisted family members during World War II are a fine example of the spirit that makes both our country and village great,” said Manlius Mayor Mark-Paul Serafin. “They are an example that inspires us today.”

The exhibit, called “Moxie: Women in the Military and Life in Our Community During Both World Wars,” also recognizes those women who joined the workforce during wartime, and those who kept the home fires burning.

It brings together mementos loaned by nine residents, but it started with a single scrapbook — that of Eva Albanese — given by Julie Albanese, Eva’s sister.  

Exhibit donors

Julie Albanese

Anne Menter

Julie Rimel

Pat Heagerty

Barbara Rivette (Manlius Town Historian)

Elaine Coppola

Mary Veeder-Civitello

Barbara Brown

Marge Edwards

“The Albanese family has had a positive impact on our community, and here was an opportunity to tell Eva’s story,” said Manlius Historical Society executive director Donna Nortman.

Nortman also knew the museum had a collection of photos, documents and uniforms that once belonged to Dorothy Adams.

“Once we started working on [the exhibit], several people mentioned Teresa Catterino Zupan, and I found we have lovely photos of her in our collections,” Nortman said.

She said when word got out about the exhibit, the ideas snowballed.

“People started sharing stories and memorabilia about their own, or their families’, experiences, which we just had to include,” she said. “That is something about this era in our history – there are so many stories! This exhibit is a starting point; visitors come in and share with us all of the memories and experiences they are reminded of in seeing the displays.”

The museum is located at 101 Scoville Ave. in the village of Manlius; the exhibit can be viewed from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays through July.

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