Saturday , May 8 2021

The city that joined to honor ARA San Juan

On the day the authorities announced the opening of the ARA San Juan, the Wagner Clar and Olavavria families, they were preparing for the next day in the town of Hinyo (Party City) for the victory of Lieutenant Diego Wagner Clark, the native of the city, and his 43 comrades.

The crew of ARA San Juan will be the main heroes of the ceremony, but Olavarría's neighbors, who are part of the tribute during their preparation. Many have collaborated on the project, initiated by Emilio Wagner, Pope de Diego, from a local artist, to the municipality itself, through local companies and artists. Because the neighbors realize Emilio's desire, they deal with him for one purpose, building a replica of ARA San Juan to honor his crew.

On Sunday, November 18, the Hinojo amphitheater was full, and the surrounding streets. After hearing the 44 bells that sounded to recall the San Juan crew and the verses of the National Anthem, the most anticipated moment would come, Diego's Emilio and Catalina, the accomplice Ezekiel Galli and Diego's classmates. They found a copy of ARA San Juan, which took three and a half months to build. At this point, the release of the pigeons allowed them to fly to the sky while the attendants sang the fleet song. "Long Life of the Fatherland! Long life of ARA San Juan, live our 44 heroes!", Cried an excited Diego teammate.

The replica is almost 10 meters long and is located in the Roque Lacoste de Hinojo amphitheater. There were many people who joined, friends or ordinary strangers provided their work, heart and emotions. "It was done with lots of love and tears, all were donations," Emilio Wagner told DEF. "Without the neighbors we would do nothing," he said.

Mayor Gali, for his part, says: "From the moment we knew we had Olaukaryan in the ARA San Juan crew, the distraction was even greater. Knowing the story of his life, his victim, to get where he wished, knowing his dreams through his family, listened to him in every home and school in Olavariya".

The great submarine officer, Juan Carlos Sampaoli, born in Olachalria, said: "Our destiny was that our calling as sailors and submarines brought us here today to remember and honor all those sailors who fulfilled their duty of greatest sacrifice. the man of Diego, who was an excellent military man, flawless behavior, and a great professional … Honor and glory to Diego and his 43 comrades. "

Lieutenant Fernando Barra, a friend and companion of Diego Wagner's promotion, remembered him in a conversation with DEF: "He was very modest, very fond of the profession and the family, his passion was the submarine. He arrived from sailing, we got together and he told us an anecdote after an anecdote. I lived near my house in Mar del Plata, today your children are like my nephews. He was my brother to the heart.

During the tribute, there is also a sign that bears the name of the crew, along with the work of local artist Ignacio Cardiello: a sea lion, a symbol of ARA San Juan. In the case, the staff of the Argentinian fleet placed a figure of the virgin Stella Maris (employer of forces) at the foot of the sign. Artist Jano Chasman gave Diego's parents another plaque to be put on a replica.

At the ceremony, 3 of the 44 trees that will grow in place are symbolically planted.

"It is practically impossible to be saved"
After the act is over, DEF communicates with Emilio Wagner. Moved from the love of his city and from finding ARA San Juan, the crew's submarine's father, was grateful for the help he had received and recalled his son's call for service.

"How did the case live?" How did you get the idea of ​​making the tax?
-A lot of emotions. It was very strong for us. In one case we went from Mar del Plata to Olavardia. With my wife we ​​are very sad. Suddenly, a cloud appeared in the form of a submarine between Balcars and Tandil. I felt my son was asking me something. That made me make a reply, I wanted to do something strong, which would last through the years. That's why I thought I'd make it iron.

– Have I been trying to work with this type of material?
"I've never worked with this material, I'm not a welder. I thought I saw a neighbor, Gonzalez, who sold the irons near home. I asked him if he had any leftovers and promised to help me. That same day I contacted other people in the Industrial Park. When I told them what I wanted to do, they offered to do something bigger, important. I told them I had no idea, but they told me they were sure I would achieve it. They gave me two big cylinders, another man gave me room to work, even the tools. I stood beside the cylinders and did not know what to do. I had no idea,

– Who helped him at this stage?
"A man who worked in engineering, gave me a hand to cut the cylinders, he made some designs for me. Then I called Ariel To Santos, a friend of Diego, because I saw that I just could not. None of us knew how to weld, but we started pushing. We did not know how to go on more than once. And we asked the boys for help at 44. We even cried, we could not. We asked them and instantly the ideas came. I think the submarine did 44. It was done with much love and tears. All were donations. There were people who helped us transport it, and arranged it and painted it. He does not know what emotion and love they did …

– It can be said that the whole city was involved …
"The people of Olavardia gave us love and affection. They donated 44 trees, even the owner of one of the seedlings personally went to plant them. Without the neighbors, we would not do anything.

– How did the discoveries of the submarine live?
"As a father, as much as telling him what happened, he always has a little hope. When the fleet announced they had found it, as if they had told us they were dead at that point. It was terrible, it was a very heavy blow. Only now can we do a duel. Diego has an exclusive wife, Carolina. She is a wonderful mother now battling in Mar del Plata, it is only contained by the other sailors in the navy. When we can, we try to travel with her and her grandchildren.

– Consider the possibility of submarine recovery?
– It's virtually impossible to save him. The submarine weighs thousands of tons and is very deep. I believe the boys are not there, they were a question. They raised the body and the soul of heaven. Diego rests in the Argentine Sea … I've been living so since the first moment. He would like to stay alone, to stay there. We never wanted to upset our son's memory because we know that if Diego returns, he'll immediately go to another submarine. They enter the fleet for the love they have for their homeland, not for the money. Diego has the ability to find a job in a merchant ship, but has refused to have a better pass to continue his favorite fleet. He was a sailor in his heart. Even on the last trip he told his wife that he would go for them all, for him and protect them. These were the last words Diego had with her.
We as parents and pain did not see clearly what was happening. Then I could think and start walking back all that Diego said: how dangerous it is to move in a submarine, press … Diego knew this and told me that if something happened to them, it was very difficult to get out alive. I told him to get out, to protect his homeland in a different way. But for him to be a diver was the greatest honor. For me, my son is a national hero. I live it with terrible pride.

"Do you think that with the disappearance of ARA San Juan we, the Argentinians, were able to realize the importance of our resources?
– People realize how important it is to have armed forces. The submarine was guarding the sea, our border. There is before and after, hopefully.

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