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Kentucky and Her Veterans

I thought this was appropriate since we just celebrated the Fourth of July.

The picture at the left is of the Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Frankfort.

There are 1,100 names of Kentuckians on the memorial including 23 missing in action.

The design is of a large sundial that cast its shadow on the name of each man on the anniversary of his death. Thus, each fallen veteran has a personal Memorial Day.

The memorial is located in Frankfort, the capital city of Kentucky. Here is a link to the website where you can read more about this amazing place: http://www.kyvietnammemorial.net/index.html

Now, I want to tell you about PFC Franklin R. Sousley, born in 1925 in Hilltop, Kentucky. He answered his country’s call and became a United States Marine and fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima.

Franklin Sousley’s father died when he was nine years of age. Franklin helped his mother survive the Great Depression and left Kentucky to work in a factory in Dayton, Ohio. He joined the Marines in January 1944 and landed on Iwo Jima on 2/19/45. On 2/23/45, Franklin Sousley, of Fleming County, Kentucky was immortalized in one of the most beloved images of the twentieth century, the flag raising on Mt Suribachi. Franklin is second from left in the picture.

Franklin did not survive the battle, but was killed in action on March 21st by a sniper’s bullet two days before the end of the battle.

To most Americans Franklin Sousley was and remains an anonymous hero. He was the youngest of the five men in the picture and is buried in the Elizaville Cemetary in Elizaville, Kentucky. Franklin Sousley was only 19 years old.

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7 Responses

  1. Dear Judy,I’m enjoying reading your blogs, found your blog on tales of the forks, and really enjoying them. I am just kind of finding all kinds of blogs. What great fun it is.Blabbin’ Grammy

  2. Judy,What a great post and tribute to our fine men who have served to help keep us free!Thanks,Junie

  3. A very enlightening post, Judy. I’ve really enjoyed reading about the impressive history of Kentucky through your blog. I love the sundial memorial and the fact that each person has their own personal Memorial Day. And what an impressive young man Franklin Sousley was! How sad that he passed at such a young age.

  4. my father was on IWO jIMA. he went in with the first wave when they went in. he was in the navy attached to the 7th marine divison. at least I think is was the 7th. terrible stories were told me about that time.

  5. Hi Judy,Both my sons have been in this war. My eldest was in the national guard and they deployed him to Iraq. He is 53. While he has in Iraq, his wife had another man move in with her. Luckily, the neighbors contacted him and told him about it. She spent every dime he sent home while deployed..My younger son is regular army and has been deployed four times in five years. This cost him his marriage. While he was in Afghanistan last year, his wife found a boyfriend. They are divorced now.I think both my sons have sacrificed plenty too.

  6. Judy,I love your post and pictures about the Kentucky Memorial! I liked it so much that I read the links attached to it and think that it would be so interesting to visit it some time. It is terrific looking! I’m luv2gosups soon-to-be daughter-in-law! I’m sure glad you all started communicating cuz, I’ve learned so much from reading your blog (it sure has been helpful and I hope you don’t mind me using a few of your creative ideas!) Kelly

  7. I was very interested in you post. I didn’t know there was a Kentucky Marine in that famous picture and sculpture. I always find it interesting, too, in the way the G.I.s in World War II always posed in their uniforms, with their caps in such jaunty positions. Even my husband, who is a Marine vet of the Vietnam war, smiled in his offical photo. These days, it seems that the standard pose is serious and intimidating. I wonder at the change…

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