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Community honors 69th Iwo Jima anniversary

Updated: Monday, February 24 2014, 09:59 AM EST

By: WJAC Web Staff

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- An entire community got together to recognize the 69th anniversary of the raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima during WWII.

A local man, Sgt. Michael Strank, was one of the men photographed in the iconic moment and 6 News spoke with his sister who continues to celebrate her brother’s legacy.

“It makes me feel wonderful that they honor him,” said Mary Pero. “When I met Ira Hayes, one of the other flag raisers, he was a Pima Indian and I guess he had some hard trouble in the Marines, and he told me, I’ll never forget your brother and all he did to inspire me. I’ll always remember that comment.”

Organizers of the event said they were proud to see patriotism shining through generations of local Americans.

“It makes me proud, being a retired Marine,” said Randy Reynolds, of the Conemaugh Valley Marine Corps League. “To see fathers, mothers, grandkids to know and make sure they don’t forget the history of what these great veterans did out there at wartime and back here in the community.” 

Community honors 69th Iwo Jima anniversary

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times