On Sept. 18, Post 2 Historian Neal Supranovich escorted Joe Caminiti, a World War II Iwo Jima survivor, and his wife from Bristol to East Hartford, Conn., for the first World War II Legacy Foundation Luncheon. Eight World War II veterans attended from across the region. Joe and a fellow Marine from Iwo Jima sat and talked about being there. They were met there by three Navy veterans who also fought at Iwo Jima. They ranged in age from 97 to 101.
Quilts of Valor presented each of the eight there with a quilt. Joe’s quilt was the only one not made in Connecticut. It had been made in another state and delivered to Joe. It happens Joe was not born in Connecticut, so they were matched up perfect. All the other quilts were made right here in Connecticut.
The guest speaker was part of another legacy foundation that works with the Pearl Harbor Association. The speaker was the son of one of the survivors of USS Indianapolis. Joe was presented a Pearl Harbor Association Coin and a penny from World War II by James Belcher Jr.
Those there were able to hear a greeting by one of the last Navajo Code Talkers in real time by phone. He greeted the room with singing the Marine Corps Hymn in his native tongue. He told his story of how he enlisted in the Marines for World War II.
The POW/MIA Table was done by the VFW.
Each veteran had a picture taken in front of a 48-star American flag. A framed copy was given to each veteran who attended. A framed picture of each WWII veteran was also presented weeks later with them wearing their quilts.
Special birthday cards were on hand for everyone to sign for those unable to attend.
A special Bell was used to ring in memory of those no longer with us.
The World War II traveling museum was on hand. Some of the veterans who attended had made donations to the museum.