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Saturday, July 13, 2024 at 5:57 AM

100-year-old Taylorite get county day

100-year-old Taylorite get county day

On Thursday as our nation celebrated its 248th birthday, Taylor veteran Archie Moczygemba marked the 100th year of his storied life. And while the former soldier has received a lot of recognition, this year had a few new honors in store as the centenarian was honored with a special day by Williamson County.

“I would like to remind you of the weight of the giant that Tuesday, July 2. The judge told the audience Moczygemba remains a humble man.

“He said to Commissioner Boles and I that he shouldn’t really be recognized because there were other people that were a lot more important, that were more significant. And I just shared with Archie that right now in Williamson County, Texas, there’s nobody more important.”

Moczygemba served in World War II as a marine for seven years starting in 1942. He was assigned to the Second Marine Division and was one of the first U.S, Marines to enter Nagasaki after the United States dropped an atomic bomb on that city in 1945.

After being a marine, he served 15 years in the U.S. Army, for a 22-year military career. His home in Taylor features a map with pins marking all the places he served worldwide.

“I fully appreciate this gathering,” Moczygemba said. “I’m not the one deserving of it. The people that I served with, as a compilation, maybe yes but as an individual, no.”

The commissioners disagreed with him on that.

“Your comments are indicative of your generation, that it’s not about me, it was about the team and the men that you served with, and that is very indicative of the greatest generation,” said Precinct Two Commissioner Cynthia Long.

“I think that in times like we are now it is more apparent than ever that we need people like you keeping us free and that we all stand on the shoulders of giants and you are absolutely one of those giants,” said Precinct Four Commissioner Russ Boles.

The county presented Moczygemba with a proclamation naming July 2, 2024, as Archie Moczygemba Day.

A representative from U.S. Congressman John Carter’s office presented the veteran with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition and a U.S. flag that he said was flown over the nation’s capitol in honor of Moczygemba’s birthday. He then performed the special handshake that bestows a challenge coin on the recipient, affirming that Moczygemba knew its significance.

State Representative Caroline Harris Davila also had a gift for the soldier, though she ended her presentation with a hug rather than a handshake.

“It is an honor to present you with a proclamation from the state to honor you for your service and celebrate your birthday. We all know you need a Texas flag to make your collection complete. This was flown over the state capital in honor of you and your service,” Harris said.

“I had all kinds of experiences, most of them good, and I feel very very fortunate to live this long. I never expected to be around here at 100 years, but in total the world is very kind, the people are very kind. I’ve had a lot of good fortune and I’m thankful for that,” Moczygemba said.

In recent years Moczygemba’s tale been told on local area news and his story is part of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. He was also featured in an exhibit at the Polish Heritage Center in Panna Maria.

Reporter Nicole Lessin contributed to this story.

Representative Caroline Harris presents Moczygemba with a Texas flag. Photos by Edie Zuvanich

Archie Moczygemba tells commissioners that there are people much more deserving of recognition than he.


Taylor Press