Marine veteran remembers fallen soldiers at AZ war memorial

It was a quaint ceremony at the war memorial in downtown Phoenix. A 94-year-old Valley veteran remembered the day 70 years ago, when the American Flag was raised, signaling victory in the Battle of Iwo Jima.

He knows firsthand the blood, sweat, tears, and lives that were shed for that moment.

"Just as clearly as that American Flag waved proudly in the wind on Memorial Day, Dennis Kavanaugh remembers that day 70 years ago on a Pacific Island.

The flag was raised on Mount Suribachi; he was in a foxhole with his buddy on Iwo Jima when he suddenly heard cheering.

"We heard the bells on the ships out in the Ocean, and the whistles were blowing, and all good grief, what is going on, he said turn around, I looked and there was the flag in the air waving," said Dennis Kavanaugh.

"You talk about a thrill, that was a thrill to see, I said my god they made it, that mountain was 500 feet high, it took them five days to get up that mountain," he recalled.

Kavanaugh served with the US Marines, 23rd Regiment, Fox Company. He has lived the real meaning of Memorial Day. 70-years later he tears up, remembering his buddies who didn't come home.

"It just means that I'll remember the men I served with that didn't make it, some of my good buddies of mine didn't make it, but they saved me. I could come here because of them," said Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh said he was grateful for those who took the time out, to honor and remember the strangers, the heroes who gave all.

He closed the ceremony by reading a poem, for his own fallen brothers, and proudly singing the Marine Corps Anthem.

As a Marine, Kavanaugh served as an ammunition carrier and radio man during the battle of Iwo Jima. The 94-year-old credits his wife for his long life, they've been married for 74 years.
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