American Legion Seicheprey Post 2, on Feb. 28, at 1 p.m. held an event to honor our World War II veterans that has been in the making for over many years.
In February 1945 a local boy, Joe Caminiti, took part in the battle for the island of Iwo Jima. While he was there on Feb. 23 he was able to see the American flag fly from atop Mt. Suribachi.
On the 61st anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima, Joe attended the National Iwo Jima Survivor’s Reunion aboard USS Iwo Jima docked at Norfolk, Va. Joe and some 200 fellow Iwo Jima survivors from across the nation traveled to Norfolk. There he was presented an American flag, #90 of 200 that flew over the island of Iwo Jima that year.
In 2019 the committee chose as the Home Town Heroes all Bristol World War II veterans. All 4,762 individuals who joined from Bristol, and a few more who did not join from Bristol but moved here to live after the war.
Joe Caminiti, member of Post 2, presented committee chairman Neal Supranovich an American flag - the same flag presented to him at the 61st anniversary reunion.
The flag was to be lent to the Iwo Jima/World War II Traveling Military Museum, which was spearheading the Gold Star Family Memorial Monument for Connecticut. They were to use the flag until construction was begun on the monument, then returned to Bristol. The mayor of Bristol agreed that when the flag was returned to Bristol it could fly on the flagpole in front of City Hall in honor of all World War II veterans.
On Veterans Day 2020 the site for the monument was chosen in Berlin, Conn. Arrangements are being made to return the flag to Bristol. The flag was returned and raised by Joe Caminiti at Post 2, and flown for 30 days in honor of those 100 from Connecticut who lost their lives during the battle, along with all Iwo Jima veterans at The American Legion. After the 30 days it will be turned over to the Bristol Military Museum for keeping.