View Full Version : Crawfordsville says goodbye to Iwo Jima hero

01-05-06, 09:29 AM
SEMPER FI <br />
Crawfordsville says goodbye to Iwo Jima hero <br />
By John Flora <br />
Crawfordsville Journal Review, IN <br />
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Just about everyone knows the iconic photograph of Marines raising the American flag atop...

01-05-06, 09:30 AM
Tiny island, big significance <br />
By John Flora <br />
Crawfordsville Journal Review <br />
<br />
Ask the average high school kid to explain the significance of Iwo Jima and you’re likely to get a blank stare. <br />
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01-05-06, 06:36 PM
A Hoosier's contribution to history
Alex Sanz/Eyewitness News
WTHR Indianapolis

Indianapolis, Jan. 5 - When generations of Americans think of the enduring moments of World War II, it is the morning of February 23, 1945 that often comes to mind, the morning U.S. Marines scaled the slopes of Mount Suribachi on the Japanese island of Iwo Jima and raised the American flag.

The story often not heard is of the Indiana Marine there that morning.

"He called his job his duty," recalls Vy Dang Ward, "stood for his country."

Private Phil Ward was 18 when he and the others from the 28th Marines 2nd Battalion F Company landed on the island's beaches.

The picture that made world bulletins was the second flag to go up that day.

It is a picture with Phil holding the first flag that went up that his family says merits an equal part in history, though they never thought it at the time.

Phil's sister Beverly High says, "You know, Phil never talked about any of this until probably five or six years ago. And people told him that the memories die with you."

To hear it from his family, Phil Ward from a young age was a quiet man committed to his country, one of eleven brothers and sisters who called Montgomery County home.

Phil died at his winter home in McAllen, Texas on December 28 at 79.

"I always thought he was a hero in my heart," says Phil's brother, Larry.

Throughout the week his family and friends gathered at his Crawfordsville home to remember him.

Though reluctant to call himself a hero, those who loved him, like his wife, knew he was. "They know. But he don't want to say he hero. That's the way he is."

Clyde Brady was Phil's friend. "I think everybody that knew that, that knew Phil, really admired him."

For so many Phil Ward was a hero, a man who witnessed history and became a part of it.

He'll receive a final salute on January 19 at Arlington National Cemetery.