On Feb. 19, Post 2 hosted an Iwo Jima/World War II veteran reunion. The goal of the event to honor World War II veterans and remember the Battle for Iwo Jima.
The ceremony included a POW/MIA table for those who did not make it home. The 100 names for those killed from Connecticut on Iwo Jima were read by the Legacy Foundation while Mr. Richard and Mr. Caminiti, both Iwo Jima survivors, assisted.
A framed limited-edition print was presented to Joe Caminiti. A second unframed limited-edition print was signed by Joe and the artist during the ceremony and presented to the Bristol Public Library. A third limited-edition print is on its way to a museum at Camp Pendleton.
A World War II quilt from 2019 to honor those who did not make it home was present. In 2023, seven new World War II veterans signed the quilt.
The mayor gave a letter to artist Don Scott from the city. A book called “Bristol in World War II,” published in 1947 and given to all World War II veterans, was signed by the WWII veterans and handed to the artist by City Council member Andrew Howe. Letters of appreciation were given to the WWII veterans; a few were presented birthday cards, the youngest being 98 and the oldest 102.
Post 2 did not do it alone. The Bristol Public Library sponsored the event. The World War II Legacy Foundation Inc. helped organize the event. The Korean Veterans Association helped with the sign-in and refreshments.
The following organizations attended the reunion: the “Iwo Jima Survivors Association” and “Support our Iwo Jima Survivors.” The World War II Traveling Military Museum supplied a World War II display. Chairpersons for Connecticut from the Woody Williams Foundation were present; they are the same people who headed the Connecticut Gold Star Family Memorial Monument in Berlin. The Iwo Jima Survivors Association supplied a wreath to be placed at the Iwo Jima Monument in Connecticut.
The World War II Legacy Foundation Inc. and the Bristol Memorial Museum each did an oral presentation on what they do to honor our World War II veterans. An oral historian gave the facts about Joe.
After the event a group traveled to the Iwo Jima Monument. There they read the 100 names, ringing a bell used to dedicate the monument after each name read. A wreath was left there by request of Iwo Jima survivors who were unable to attend.