Down East Seniors hears from military veteran

Published 7:00 pm Friday, April 22, 2016

The Down East Seniors Club held its April 20 meeting at the Blind Center of North Carolina in Washington. President Ed Hamrick led the meeting. Jim Hackney played for the singing of “God Bless America” and Charlie Mike Smith gave the invocation. Dick Paul provided humor.

Dick Paul introduced Gordon Nash, Major General U.S. Marines — Retired. General Nash told about the background for the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. The memorial is a statue that depicts the raising of the U. S. flag at the top of Mount Suribachi on the Pacific Island of Iwo Jima during World War II. Iwo Jima was a strategic location that the U.S. military needed because it could provide a refueling site for long-range bombers flying to attack Japan. The island was heavily defended by the Japanese, resulting in the loss of over 20,000 U. S. marines during the battle to take the island. The high point of the island is Mount Suribachi. The U.S. forces determined that the U.S. flag needed to be raised on the top of Mount Suribachi even before the battle ended to show the American determination to take the island. The flag raising was recorded in a photograph by a war photographer. This photo later became the model for the memorial. The flag raising was performed by five marines and one sailor. General Nash told the personal background of each of the flag raisers and what happened to them later. Only three of them left the island alive.

Dick Paul won the 50/50 drawing.