Kentucky Historical Society
KHS to Honor Heroism of Flemingsburg Iwo Jima Hero
FRANKFORT, Ky. –-- The World War II battle for Iwo Jima is currently very visible on cinema screens throughout the country, with the recent release of Letters from Iwo Jima and last fall’s release of Flags of Our Fathers, both directed by Clint Eastwood. In Fleming County, Kentucky, the story of Iwo Jima hero and Fleming County native, Franklin Sousley, has been a present reality for more than 60 years.
On Sunday, February 25, the Kentucky Historical Society will be part of a Fleming County celebration remembering Kentuckian Franklin Sousley, one of the soldiers who raised the American flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. The image taken of Sousley and his fellow soldiers is arguably one of the most famous of World War II and is also the focus of the film Flags of Our Fathers.
Look for My Picture: Raising the Flag with Franklin Sousley will be presented at 1 p.m. at Simons Middle School in Flemingsburg, Kentucky, as part of a special program sponsored by the Fleming County Covered Bridge Museum. This Kentucky Historical Society Museum Theatre piece depicts the raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima through the eyes of Sousley, who was killed in action on Iwo Jima. The play’s script is drawn from letters Sousley wrote to his family in Flemingsburg. It will be staged in the building where Sousley attended high school.
“Telling the stories of Kentuckians’ role in history is what we do everyday at the Kentucky Historical Society,” says Kent Whitworth, KHS executive director.
At 3 p.m., there will be a commemorative program marking the 62nd anniversary of the assault on Iwo Jima at the Franklin Sousley VFW Post #1834 in Flemingsburg. As part of this program, four surviving Iwo Jima veterans will recount their stories of the battle.
Following that program, the public is invited to a ceremony at 4 p.m. at the grave of PFC Franklin R. Sousley (KIA) in the Elizaville Cemetery in Elizaville, Kentucky. The ceremony is hosted by the Marine Corps League Dan Daly Detachment #858 and the Franklin Sousley VFW Post #1834.
For more information, contact Greg Hardison at (502) 564-1792, ext. 4454 or the Fleming County Chamber of Commerce at (606) 845-1223.
An agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet, the Kentucky Historical Society, since 1836, has provided connections to the past, perspective on the present, and inspiration for the future. KHS operates the Old State Capitol, the Kentucky Military History Museum, and its headquarters, the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History. Since 1999, the thirty-million-dollar Center has welcomed more than one million visitors. For more information about the Kentucky Historical Society and its programs, visit the Web site at www.history.ky.gov.