Saturday, July 6, 2013

Iwo Jima memorial would be fitting here

Ordinary Americans immortalized by an extraordinary act:
Harlon Block.
John Bradley.
Rene Gagnon.
Ira Hayes.
Franklin Sousley.
Michael Strank.
They were the young men --- all U.S. Marines, save for Bradley, a Navy corpsman --- who raised Old Glory atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima, Feb. 23, 1945.
It is perhaps the most inspiring and enduring image of America’s grueling campaign in the Pacific against the Japanese Empire during the final months of World War II.
An image that resonates for many in our community.
“Bullets, bombs and people falling all over the place,” Iwo Jima veteran Gene Christie told The Herald in 2010. “The word ‘holocaust’ is used a lot, but that’s what Iwo was. A holocaust.”
That image also resonates for veteran Kevin Henault, a Bradenton businessman.
Along with Sarasota businessman Gregg Anderson, he’s spearheading a grassroots fundraising drive to find a home for the Iwo Jima Memorial Statue a five-ton miniature of sculptor Felix de Weldon’s iconic Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va., designed from Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal’s Pulitzer Prize winning picture.
Sarasota passed on the statue early last week.
Henault wants to bring it here.
Here’s to that success.

Read more Sunday in Mannix About Manatee on Bradenton.com.

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