Tonawanda News — TOWN OF TONAWANDA — Cpl. Lawrence Titzler received the Bronze Star and other military medals for his dedication during World War II Wednesday afternoon, more than 70 years after his service.
“It’s men and women like you who have protected America so that others could be free,” Town Supervisor Anthony Caruana said at the ceremony, which was held at Walter Kenney Field. “You helped build our Town of Tonawanda and our nation ... In the words of Tom Brokaw, you are a part of the greatest generation.”
Titzler, a town resident, entered the army in 1943. He served in the Rhineland region during the European conflict, and was studying engineering at Princeton University under the Army Specialized Training Program when he was transferred to the 303rd Medical Battalion.
He served as a frontline medic in Germany, and processed information related to troop movement to prepare his fellow medics for responding to injuries. Titzler participated in some of the most historic battles in the region, including the Battle at Remagen and the Battle of the Bulge.
“As part of the medical corp, you see these people die, and it’s hard to get over,” Titzler said during his comments Wednesday.
After the war, Titzler was honorably discharged in 1946 and returned home to finish college. He worked as a teacher for 39 years and was the assistant principal at Tonawanda High School for almost 20 years.
On Wednesday, Congressman Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, and Caruana, a Democrat, presented Titzler with the Bronze Star Medal, the Combat Medical Badge 1st Award and the Good Conduct Medal, as well as six other awards.
Friends and family surrounded Titzler as he was honored.
“It’s just wonderful to see you all here, in front of this beautiful monument,” he said, referencing the Town of Tonawanda Veterans Memorial.
Joseph Elliott, a family friend, contacted Higgins’ office to ensure that Titzler received recognition. Titzler and Elliott’s grandfather, Robert Strusa, were lifelong friends. They met at Camp Butner in North Carolina, only to discover that they lived a block away from each other in Buffalo.