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Bulletin Editor
Larry Haber
Speakers
Sep 30, 2022
Membership
Oct 07, 2022
Africa Trip
Oct 14, 2022
Town of Avon Updates
Oct 21, 2022
Oct 28, 2022
Nov 04, 2022
Medicare
View entire list
Executives & Directors
President
 
President Elect
 
Secretary
 
Treasurer
 
Immediate Past President
 
Sergeant-at-Arms
 
Rotary Foundation
 
Board Member-at-Large
 
Board Member-at-Large
 
Interact Chair
 
Club Information
Rotary of Avon-Canton - Founded 1973
Avon-Canton
Service above Self
Fridays at 7:30 AM
Golf Club of Avon
160 Country Club Road
Avon, CT 06001
United States of America
Fax:
(860) 760-6364
All meetings are hybrid both in-person and Zoom available
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August 26, 2022
Club Meeting
 
NOTE:  This meeting will be held at FAVARH, 225 Commerce Drive, Canton
The meeting will be held both in person and via Zoom. 
Watch for an email from the Club for Zoom access and
please note we use a recurring ID for your convenience.
 
Sergeant-at-Arms Report - 
 
 
Rotarians Present: 20 (16 in-person)
 
Visiting Rotarians:  None
 
Guests:  None
Happy Dollars:  $25
 
Raffle Winner: Debbie Stanwood
 
Fines: None today.
 
 
 
Birthdays
 
None Today
 
Special Note
 
In a combination of the wonders of modern medicine and technology, President Chris was able to join us for a few minutes from her hospital bed at Yale.  She looked and sounded amazingly well. 
 
Happy Dollars
 
Bill Barnes was surprised that last weeks Early Riser did not report that Tom Voorhees and his lovely wife Mary Ellen had just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.  He also had run into Kershwin Singh and his delightful wife who were also celebrating their anniversary.
 
Tom Voorhees had an aha moment as to why he was in trouble at home.
 
Bob Cave received a call from Dick Kisiel who had gone to NYC.  Dick told Bob that to his horror, no one in NYC wears masks anymore.  We are all wishing Dick a speedy recovery from Covid.
 
Gary Miller is heading up to his daughter's home near Rochester, NY.  On Saturday they will be attending the Buffalo Bills Family Day exhibition game with seats on 50 yard line.
 
Gary Hyde gave 10 happy dollars to celebrate President Chris getting a 10 year addition to her life with her successful kidney transplant.  The folks at Yale are fabulous.  She is doing well and should be home by Monday or Tuesday.
 
Gary Roman matched that $10 for this happy news.
 
Kershwin Singh acknowledged that he and his wife celebrated their 24th anniversary with dinner and a comedy show.  The commedy show featured 6 comedians who were actually 3 couples.  It came out during the show that one of the comedians was a lay minister and a couple from the audience asked him to marry them, which he did on stage.
 
Announcements

The golf tournament is coming up quickly.  We still need more golfers, sponsors, and ads.  In particular, we need help with items for the silent auction.
 

 
Calendar
 
Friday, August 26 - Meeting will be held at FAVARH
 
Friday, September 2 - Lonely Rotarians at LaSalle Market
 
Monday, September 12 - 40th annual Charity Golf Tournament 
 
Starting in August, the last meeting of every month will be held at FAVARH.  These will be Club Days so that we can do a better job of getting to know each other and reestablish why we are Rotarians.
 
Induction of New Members
None this week.
Awards
None this week.
 
Community and International Service Grants
 
None this week.
 The Iwo Jima Memorial
Larry Sullivan
 
 
 
Our speaker today is a gentleman who needs no introduction, Larry E. Sullivan.  Larry grew up in New London, CT.  He graduated from the University of Hartford with a degree in accounting.  Went to work for O'Neil's Chevrolet and Buick in 1968 and became the dealer in 1986.  After all 3 of his and Brenda's sons gravitated to the business, they expanded to Torrington, ultimately with 3 dealerships, just past Home Depot where they now sell Honda, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, and Cadillac.  He also has 2 grandchildren in the business making it 4 generations.  Larry has been a member of our club since 1985.
 
  
 
Larry presented a very rich and detailed discussion of the history of the Iwo Jima battle and the meaning of the memorial.  Most of the material below was taken directly from Larry's notes, which he kindly shared with this editor.
 
 
I wish to talk about the largest bronze statue-memorial in the world. A statue that has been reproduced many times in many places, including our own reproduction in Newington, CT, adjacent to Route 9 - The Iwo Jima Memorial.  A Canton dentist, George Gentile who was an Iwo survivor, was instrumental in getting that done.  It was crafted from a picture taken on Iwo Jima after our marines scaled Mt.Suribachi at one end of a small island 5 miles long and 2 miles wide, more than halfway north of Australia, heading toward Japan.  The time was February, 1945. Our marines had been methodically taking Japanese controlled islands starting near Australia, including Guadalcanal, Bouganville, Guam and Tinian. The fighting was tough. The Japanese were fanatical fighters to their or their enemies' death.  Iwo was an important step to the eventual invasion of Japan, and the Japanese were well prepared for our invasion. They had built block houses of reinforced concrete, dug miles of interconnecting tunnels, and had in some cases, 4 or 5 levels of structure below ground. They were prepared to fight and our boys could never see them.  The fighting was horrific. Ground was gained in feet and inches. Casualties were terribly high - the most ever in a war battle. More even than our own civil war battles of Gettysburg and Antietam. Until Iwo, the most bloody battles in our history.
 
On D - Day plus 3, Easy Company captured Mt. Suribachi at the southwestern part of Iwo. Some of the guys going to the top, decided to fly our flag at the top on a small pipe someone came up with. The reaction was electric and euphoric. All our
ships off shore blew their horns and whistles, men who were not pinned down by enemy fire cheered.
 
Not long after, Gen. Holland Smith wanted a bigger flag so that "Every son-of-a-bitch on this whole cruddy island can see it". A bigger flag and sturdier pole was sent up to the top. As the flag was being raised, several men jumped in to help. A marine photographer, Joe Rosenthal, snapped several pictures. The one depicted in the bronze statue hit the newspapers back home and created a monumental eruption of pride, hope and satisfaction that all our efforts at home were paying off. The six men depicted were immediate heros in the minds of the public.
 
31 days later, Iwo was finally subdued. Of the 22,000 Japanese soldiers, about 21,000 perished. Hidden in their caves and tunnels, the last two surrendered in 1949, four years later.  Our casualties were 26,000, of which 7,000 of these were deaths. Three of the flag raisers were killed within days of the flag raising. Three survived and came home as heros.
 
Brenda and Larry visited  Washington, DC several years ago as tourists.  They thought that the most impressive sight was Ford's Theatre. To actually see the inside of the
place where Lincoln was shot, and the bed across the street where he died was very moving. 
 
The next most impressive sight was the Iwo Jima Memorial. When they arrived, there were many WWII vets. Most in wheelchairs, with canes, or some other physical shortcoming connoting age. There were many attendant's with them. They spoke with one of the guides/aides. They were from Wisconsin. The young man was on his third trip shepherding vets to Washington before their time ran out. They spoke with and thanked many of the vets for their service. They were delighted to have had the opportunity to see Washington, DC, particularly the then-new WWII memorial. It was a moving sight, a highlight of their trip.
 
Not long ago, Larry read the book "Flags of our Fathers", by James Bradley. His dad was a flagraiser. A short while ago he was sent the following, which he wished to share
with us:
 
Six Boys And Thirteen Hands...
 
"Each year I am hired to go to Washington, DC, with the eighth grade class from Clinton, Wisconsin 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 IL
 
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 closerhe 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.' (It was James Bradley who 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 had 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, DC, 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 people 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 - and it was so hard that the ones who did make it home never even would talk to their families about it.
 
(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. It was just boys who 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 was one of them who lived to walk 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 carried the pain home with him and eventually died dead drunk, face down, drowned in a very shallow puddle, 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 the 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.  Those 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, like Ira Hayes, 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 combat caregiver. On Iwo Jima he probably held over 200 boys as they died. And when boys died on Iwo Jima , they writhed and screamed, without any medication or help with the 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...please pray for our troops.  Remember to pray praises for this great country of ours and also ...please pray for our troops still in murderous places around the world.
 
STOP and thank God for being alive and being free due to someone else's sacrifice.
 
God Bless You and God Bless America.
 
 

Special Announcements

None this week.
 
Mail Bag
None this week.
 
Photo Credits
 
Mike Mezheritskiy
 
Technology Credits
Zoom platform management expertise by Mike Mezheritskiy.
 
Editor's Notes
Submission Deadline: Members are kindly encouraged to submit all materials for each week's Early Riser as early as possible. Please note that some editions may be published and distributed as early as the Saturday following our meetings, and during those weeks further contributions to the Early Riser will be included in the subsequent week's edition.
“The FOUR-WAY TEST of the things we think, say or do”:

1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all Concerned?
3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?