Iowan Who Raised Flag at Iwo Jima to be Honored
An Iowan captured in one of the most iconic wartime photos in our nation's history, will soon have a monument built in his honor. The Des Moines Register reports that The Brooklyn Community Foundation is leading the charge to honor Harold 'Pie' Keller, an Iowan who helped raise the flag at Iwo Jima during World War II.
But here is the thing about Keller and that world famous photo. For 74 years, Keller was misidentified as Rene A. Gagnon in the photo. The photograph "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima" was taken by Joe Rosenthal and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1945. It wasn't until 2019 that a correction was issued after an investigation was started by Brent Westemeyer of Johnston, according to the Register.
The Brooklyn Community Foundation says that they are about $17,000 away from their fundraising goal of $75,000. The monument honoring Keller will be built in his hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa, at the east end of the town's large flag display at 302 Jackson Street.
Officials say that Keller never came forward as being one of the Iwo Jima flag raisers, not even to his own children. A Brooklyn community member says that the monument will "solidify Pie's name and legacy in our town forever."
The Register also reports that firearms manufacturer Henry Repeating Arms is selling 100 Golden Boy Pie Keller Memorial edition rifles to help raise the rest of the money needed for the memorial. The rifles are being sold for $699.99 at Brownell's retail store in Grinnell and also online. $50 dollars from each gun sold will go towards the cost of the monument.
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