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UK marks Battle of Iwo Jima anniversary with ceremony honoring two men who were there

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 11:33 AM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Tuesday marks the 76th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima, an iconic moment in American history.

Tuesday morning, members of the University of Kentucky ROTC honored two men in particular who were there.

Family members of Elwood Hughes, who passed away just a couple of weeks ago, say this is exactly what he would have wanted being able to tell the story of those who lost their lives on the island of Iwo Jima.

“He would never let us talk about Iwo Jima without saying the real heroes never made it off the island,” said Steven Hughes, Elwood’s grandson.

Members of the University of Kentucky’s ROTC gathered on the administration lawn and held a flag-raising ceremony to commemorate World War II veterans at Iwo Jima especially Hughes and another Kentuckian, Franklin Sousley from Fleming County.

Sousley was one of the six Marines depicted in the famous photo of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima.

For Elwood’s grandson Steven Hughes, this type of remembrance is something he’ll take with him for the rest of his life because it’s the type of memory that his grandfather would have wanted.

“He wanted to tell the story of those to honor them, not just to have their memories burned into a textbook somewhere that nobody cares about, but to be here and actually remember these people and tell their story,” Hughes said. “So, that’s all I want to do in memory of him.”

Family members say they hope this flag-raising can become a tradition moving forward.

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