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A Tale of Six Boys

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HAY MAKER

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-----Original Message-----
From: Larry Brack [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Saturday, July 09, 2005 5:05 AM
To: Larry & Carlotta Brack
Subject: Fw: Six Boys Who Helped Put Up The American Flag on Iwo Jima



----- Original Message -----
From: "Gene Stucky" <[email protected]>
To: <undisclosed-recipients:>
Sent: Saturday, July 09, 2005 12:20 AM
Subject: Six Boys Who Helped Put Up The American Flag on Iwo Jima


> Freedom isn't free. The saddest thing is when the ultimate for our
> freedom is given and it goes
> unappreciated... Gayle
>
> A Tale of Six Boys
>
> Each year I am hired to go to Washington, DC, with the eighth grade class
> from Clinton, WI. where I grew up, to videotape their trip. I greatly
> enjoy visiting our nation's capitol, and each year I take some special
> memories back with me. This fall's trip was especially memorable.
>
>
> On the last night of our trip, we stopped at the Iwo Jima memorial. This
> memorial is the largest bronze statue in the world and depicts one of the
> most famous photographs in history -- that of the six brave soldiers
> raising
> the American Flag at the top of a rocky hill on the island of Iwo Jima,
> Japan, during WW II.
>
>
> Over one hundred students and chaperones piled off the buses and headed
> towards the memorial. I noticed a solitary figure at the base of the
> statue,
> and as I got closer he asked, "Where are you guys from?" I told him that
> we were from Wisconsin. "Hey, I'm a cheese head, too! Come gather around,
> Cheese heads, and I will tell you a story."
>
>
> (James Bradley just happened to be in Washington, DC, to speak at the
> memorial the following day. He was there that night to say good night to
> his
> dad, who has since passed away. He was just about to leave when he saw the
> buses pull up. I videotaped him as he spoke to us, and received his
> permission to share what he said from my videotape. It is one thing to
> tour the incredible monuments filled with history in Washington, D.C., but
> it is quite another to get the kind of insight we received that night.)
>
>
> When all had gathered around, he reverently began to speak. (Here are his
> words that night.)
>
>
> "My name is James Bradley and I'm from Antigo, Wisconsin. My dad is on
> that statue, and I just wrote a book called "Flags of Our Fathers" which
> is #5 on
> the New York Times Best Seller list right now. It is the story of the six
> boys you see behind me.
>
>
> "Six boys raised the flag. The first guy putting the pole in the ground is
> Harlon Block. Harlon was an all-state football player. He enlisted in the
> Marine Corps with all the senior members of his football team. They were
> off
> to play another type of game. A game called "War." But it didn't turn out
> to
> be a game.
>
>
> Harlon, at the age of 21, died with his intestines in his hands. I don't
> say
> that to gross you out, I say that because there are generals who stand in
> front of this statue and talk about the glory of war. You guys need to
> know that most of the boys in Iwo Jima were 17, 18, and 19 years old.
>
>
> (He pointed to the statue) "You see this next guy? That's Rene Gagnon from
> New Hampshire. If you took Rene's helmet off at the moment this photo was
> taken and looked in the webbing of that helmet, you would find a
> photograph... a photograph of his girlfriend. Rene put that in there for
> protection because he was scared. He was 18 years old. Boys won the battle
> of Iwo Jima. Boys. Not old men.
>
>
> "The next guy here, the third guy in this tableau, was Sergeant Mike
> Strank.
> Mike is my hero. He was the hero of all these guys. They called him the
> "old
> man" because he was so old. He was already 24. When Mike would motivate
> his boys in training camp, he didn't say, 'Let's go kill some Japanese' or
> 'Let's die for our country.' He knew he was talking to little boys.
> Instead he would say, 'You do what I say, and I'll get you home to your
> mothers.'
>
>
> "The last guy on this side of the statue is Ira Hayes, a Pima Indian from
> Arizona. Ira Hayes walked off Iwo Jima. He went into the White House with
> my
> dad. President Truman told him, 'You're a hero.' He told reporters, 'How
> can
> I feel like a hero when 250 of my buddies hit the island with me and only
> 27
> of us walked off alive?' So you take your class at school, 250 of you
> spending a year together having fun, doing everything together. Then all
> 250
> of you hit the beach, but only 27 of your classmates walk off alive. That
> was Ira Hayes. He had images of horror in his mind. Ira Hayes died dead
> drunk, face down at the age of 32... ten years after this picture was
> taken.
>
>
> "The next guy, going around the statue, is Franklin Sousley from Hilltop,
> Kentucky. A fun-lovin' hillbilly boy. His best friend, who is now 70, told
> me, 'Yeah, you know, we took two cows up on the porch of the Hilltop
> General
> Store. Then we strung wire across the stairs so the cows couldn't get
> down. Then we fed them Epsom salts. Those cows crapped all night. Yes, he
> was a fun-lovin' hillbilly boy. Franklin died on Iwo Jima at he age of 19.
> When the telegram came to tell his mother that he was dead, it went to the
> Hilltop General Store. A barefoot boy ran that telegram up to his mother's
> farm. The neighbors could hear her scream all night and into the morning.
> The neighbors lived a quarter of a mile away.
>
>
> "The next guy, as we continue to go around the statue, is my dad, John
> Bradley from Antigo, Wisconsin, where I was raised. My dad lived until
> 1994,
> but he would never give interviews. When Walter Cronkite's producers, or
> the
> New York Times would call, we were trained as little kids to say, 'No, I'm
> sorry, sir, my dad's not here. He is in Canada fishing. No, there is no
> phone there, sir. No, we don't know when he is coming back.' My dad never
> fished or even went to Canada. Usually, he was sitting there right at the
> table eating his Campbell's soup. But we had to tell the press that he was
> out fishing. He didn't want to talk to the press.
>
>
> "You see, my dad didn't see himself as a hero. Everyone thinks these guys
> are heroes, 'cause they are in a photo and on a monument. My dad knew
> better. He was a medic. John Bradley from Wisconsin was a caregiver. In
> Iwo Jima he probably held over 200 boys as they died. And when boys died
> in Iwo Jima, they writhed and screamed in pain.
>
>
> "When I was a little boy, my third grade teacher told me that my dad was a
> hero. When I went home and told my dad that, he looked at me and said, 'I
> want you always to remember that the heroes of Iwo Jima are the guys who
> did
> not come back. Did NOT come back.'
>
>
> "So that's the story about six nice young boys. Three died on Iwo Jima,
> and three came back as national heroes. Overall, 7,000 boys died on Iwo
> Jima in the worst battle in the history of the Marine Corps. My voice is
> giving out,
> so I will end here. Thank you for your time."
>
>
> Suddenly, the monument wasn't just a big old piece of metal with a flag
> sticking out of the top. It came to life before our eyes with the
> heartfelt words of a son who did indeed have a father who was a hero Maybe
> not a hero for the reasons most people would believe, but a hero
> nonetheless.
>
>
> We need to remember that God created this vast and glorious world for us
> to live in, freely, but also at great sacrifice. Let us never forget from
> the Revolutionary War to the current War on Terrorism and all the wars
> in-between that sacrifice was made for our freedom. Remember to pray
> praises
>
> for this great country of ours and also pray for those still in murderous
> unrest around the world. STOP and thank God for being alive and being free
> at someone else's sacrifice.
>
>
> God Bless.
>
>
 

nr

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Thank you for posting that moving story, Haymaker.
 

DOC HARRIS

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Thank you, Haymaker, for a timely and sensitive post - which is particularly poignant at this time in all of our lives when so many of our citizens don't seem to really know - or care - about what sacrifices were made in the struggle for maintaining our freedom and sovereignty. Hopefully, this may stimulate some logical thinking and common sense perspective regarding the present AND future of our Nation and it's citizens.. FREEDOM - it's a gift from GOD - if we are intelligent enough to preserve it!
 

sw

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Thanks Haymaker.
This is almost eerie, I have been to the statue spent time thinking about what that statue really means, but just now said good bye to my son who is on his way with his recruiter to get his physical etc done as he is on his way to boot camp and will come back as one of the few, and the proud. then I read this
 

Hanta Yo

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HAY MAKER said:
-----Original Message-----
From: Larry Brack [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Saturday, July 09, 2005 5:05 AM
To: Larry & Carlotta Brack
Subject: Fw: Six Boys Who Helped Put Up The American Flag on Iwo Jima



----- Original Message -----
From: "Gene Stucky" <[email protected]>
To: <undisclosed-recipients:>
Sent: Saturday, July 09, 2005 12:20 AM
Subject: Six Boys Who Helped Put Up The American Flag on Iwo Jima


> Freedom isn't free. The saddest thing is when the ultimate for our
> freedom is given and it goes
> unappreciated... Gayle
>
> A Tale of Six Boys
>
> Each year I am hired to go to Washington, DC, with the eighth grade class
> from Clinton, WI. where I grew up, to videotape their trip. I greatly
> enjoy visiting our nation's capitol, and each year I take some special
> memories back with me. This fall's trip was especially memorable.
>
>
> On the last night of our trip, we stopped at the Iwo Jima memorial. This
> memorial is the largest bronze statue in the world and depicts one of the
> most famous photographs in history -- that of the six brave soldiers
> raising
> the American Flag at the top of a rocky hill on the island of Iwo Jima,
> Japan, during WW II.
>
>
> Over one hundred students and chaperones piled off the buses and headed
> towards the memorial. I noticed a solitary figure at the base of the
> statue,
> and as I got closer he asked, "Where are you guys from?" I told him that
> we were from Wisconsin. "Hey, I'm a cheese head, too! Come gather around,
> Cheese heads, and I will tell you a story."
>
>
> (James Bradley just happened to be in Washington, DC, to speak at the
> memorial the following day. He was there that night to say good night to
> his
> dad, who has since passed away. He was just about to leave when he saw the
> buses pull up. I videotaped him as he spoke to us, and received his
> permission to share what he said from my videotape. It is one thing to
> tour the incredible monuments filled with history in Washington, D.C., but
> it is quite another to get the kind of insight we received that night.)
>
>
> When all had gathered around, he reverently began to speak. (Here are his
> words that night.)
>
>
> "My name is James Bradley and I'm from Antigo, Wisconsin. My dad is on
> that statue, and I just wrote a book called "Flags of Our Fathers" which
> is #5 on
> the New York Times Best Seller list right now. It is the story of the six
> boys you see behind me.
>
>
> "Six boys raised the flag. The first guy putting the pole in the ground is
> Harlon Block. Harlon was an all-state football player. He enlisted in the
> Marine Corps with all the senior members of his football team. They were
> off
> to play another type of game. A game called "War." But it didn't turn out
> to
> be a game.
>
>
> Harlon, at the age of 21, died with his intestines in his hands. I don't
> say
> that to gross you out, I say that because there are generals who stand in
> front of this statue and talk about the glory of war. You guys need to
> know that most of the boys in Iwo Jima were 17, 18, and 19 years old.
>
>
> (He pointed to the statue) "You see this next guy? That's Rene Gagnon from
> New Hampshire. If you took Rene's helmet off at the moment this photo was
> taken and looked in the webbing of that helmet, you would find a
> photograph... a photograph of his girlfriend. Rene put that in there for
> protection because he was scared. He was 18 years old. Boys won the battle
> of Iwo Jima. Boys. Not old men.
>
>
> "The next guy here, the third guy in this tableau, was Sergeant Mike
> Strank.
> Mike is my hero. He was the hero of all these guys. They called him the
> "old
> man" because he was so old. He was already 24. When Mike would motivate
> his boys in training camp, he didn't say, 'Let's go kill some Japanese' or
> 'Let's die for our country.' He knew he was talking to little boys.
> Instead he would say, 'You do what I say, and I'll get you home to your
> mothers.'
>
>
> "The last guy on this side of the statue is Ira Hayes, a Pima Indian from
> Arizona. Ira Hayes walked off Iwo Jima. He went into the White House with
> my
> dad. President Truman told him, 'You're a hero.' He told reporters, 'How
> can
> I feel like a hero when 250 of my buddies hit the island with me and only
> 27
> of us walked off alive?' So you take your class at school, 250 of you
> spending a year together having fun, doing everything together. Then all
> 250
> of you hit the beach, but only 27 of your classmates walk off alive. That
> was Ira Hayes. He had images of horror in his mind. Ira Hayes died dead
> drunk, face down at the age of 32... ten years after this picture was
> taken.
>
>
> "The next guy, going around the statue, is Franklin Sousley from Hilltop,
> Kentucky. A fun-lovin' hillbilly boy. His best friend, who is now 70, told
> me, 'Yeah, you know, we took two cows up on the porch of the Hilltop
> General
> Store. Then we strung wire across the stairs so the cows couldn't get
> down. Then we fed them Epsom salts. Those cows crapped all night. Yes, he
> was a fun-lovin' hillbilly boy. Franklin died on Iwo Jima at he age of 19.
> When the telegram came to tell his mother that he was dead, it went to the
> Hilltop General Store. A barefoot boy ran that telegram up to his mother's
> farm. The neighbors could hear her scream all night and into the morning.
> The neighbors lived a quarter of a mile away.
>
>
> "The next guy, as we continue to go around the statue, is my dad, John
> Bradley from Antigo, Wisconsin, where I was raised. My dad lived until
> 1994,
> but he would never give interviews. When Walter Cronkite's producers, or
> the
> New York Times would call, we were trained as little kids to say, 'No, I'm
> sorry, sir, my dad's not here. He is in Canada fishing. No, there is no
> phone there, sir. No, we don't know when he is coming back.' My dad never
> fished or even went to Canada. Usually, he was sitting there right at the
> table eating his Campbell's soup. But we had to tell the press that he was
> out fishing. He didn't want to talk to the press.
>
>
> "You see, my dad didn't see himself as a hero. Everyone thinks these guys
> are heroes, 'cause they are in a photo and on a monument. My dad knew
> better. He was a medic. John Bradley from Wisconsin was a caregiver. In
> Iwo Jima he probably held over 200 boys as they died. And when boys died
> in Iwo Jima, they writhed and screamed in pain.
>
>
> "When I was a little boy, my third grade teacher told me that my dad was a
> hero. When I went home and told my dad that, he looked at me and said, 'I
> want you always to remember that the heroes of Iwo Jima are the guys who
> did
> not come back. Did NOT come back.'
>
>
> "So that's the story about six nice young boys. Three died on Iwo Jima,
> and three came back as national heroes. Overall, 7,000 boys died on Iwo
> Jima in the worst battle in the history of the Marine Corps. My voice is
> giving out,
> so I will end here. Thank you for your time."
>
>
> Suddenly, the monument wasn't just a big old piece of metal with a flag
> sticking out of the top. It came to life before our eyes with the
> heartfelt words of a son who did indeed have a father who was a hero Maybe
> not a hero for the reasons most people would believe, but a hero
> nonetheless.
>
>
> We need to remember that God created this vast and glorious world for us
> to live in, freely, but also at great sacrifice. Let us never forget from
> the Revolutionary War to the current War on Terrorism and all the wars
> in-between that sacrifice was made for our freedom. Remember to pray
> praises
>
> for this great country of ours and also pray for those still in murderous
> unrest around the world. STOP and thank God for being alive and being free
> at someone else's sacrifice.
>
>
> God Bless.
>
>


I know I'm reviving, but I just finished reading "Flags of Our Fathers" by James Bradley. It's about Iwo Jima. The stuff above are exerpts from the book.

I'm still in tears. I have learned a lot. The story is about the Marines taking Iwo Jima. Something I never learned about in History class in HS nor college. For whatever reason.

I also see similarities with the Viet Nam war and our war against Terrorism. The media played the same in the 40's as they do now; using sensationalism and not truth. Only problem, media can spread news a lot faster now than in the 40's. I didn't know that the famous "Flag Raising" at Iwo Jima was the second flag raising, the first flag raising in Mt Suribachi was done by others.
We lost so many in WWII, yet those who gave their lives gave them willingly same as with our war with IRAQ. Back in the 40's, Heros were those who didn't come back to the states alive. That is why so many WWII veterans won't talk about the war.....it is just as painful to them as those who served in Viet Nam and those serving now. It is what happens when we go to war. It is not evil, it is something that has to happen.

I can't share the emotions and the truth from this book.

You all should read the book, it will give you another perspective about wars.

If any of you have a question, please PM me. There is so much in this book I cannot give it the time it deserves.

Thanks for reading this post, I hope you all go pick up a paperback copy and read it.

Those of you who have already read it and weren't moved by it, I guess you can keep your opinions to yourselves.

Hanta Yo
 

the chief

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I saw this movie a month or so ago. It was, to say the least, very graphic. It truly showed what a war would look like from an infantry man's eyes. Once, a helmet flew by a soldier hugging the earth in a foxhole. As he looked back at the helmet, there was a face in it.

I believe people should see this movie because it TRULY tells the stories of these young men and their feelings about what they did. They may not consider themselves heroes because they CAME home, but I believe they are.

On a side note, my niece and her fiancee were able to go to Chicago for the filming at Wrigley field. They were selected for extras in the film and got to meet the actors and Clint Eastwood. Although I was not able to pick them out in the movie, I will purchase it and freeze it during those scenes to see if I can pick them out.
 

HAY MAKER

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Thanks Hanta for reviving this,our war veterans put it all on line for us,it's a terrible thing to loose a loved one because of war,kinda leaves a hollow place in your heart that just seems to never go away.
We lost another old war veteran last week,buried him at FORT SAM NATIONAL CEMETERY,full honors,I would tend him at his ranch,bring him food and feed his cows,play dominoes with him and have a few shots of George Dickel,seemed like he would get weaker every time I saw him,till one day I had to take him to town........saddest day I experienced in along time.
I visited him regularly at the VA hopital in San Antonio,they take real good care of those old soldiers till they declare them "DNR"walking the hallways of the DNR ward late at night, is something I will never forget,very sad,I never had heard about it before,but now I know,it's a place where the best of the best go to die................good luck
 

Cowpuncher

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The Marine Corps Museum is just a short distance from the Iwo Jima memorial at Quantico. It was just opened in December.

We had an opportunity to visit about three weeks ago. Well worth the effort to see if you happen to be in the DC area.
 

DOC HARRIS

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Cowpuncher said:
The Marine Corps Museum is just a short distance from the Iwo Jima memorial at Quantico. It was just opened in December.

We had an opportunity to visit about three weeks ago. Well worth the effort to see if you happen to be in the DC area.
COWPUNCHER - Are you folks in safe condition there in SE Colorado? For those on the forum who are not aware of it - Southeastern Colorado has been hit by a horrendous snow storm on top of another one last week and a half ago! Thousands of head of cattle are marooned and starving to death!

Is your operation okay? Is there anything we on the Forum can do for you? We are praying for all of you there.

DOC HARRIS
 

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