After the process of obtaining a piece of land on which to build the monument, the Survivors cleared
the land, which had formerly been an unofficial dump, perfoming much of the work themselves.
They received some help from the surrounding towns, CCSU and local contractors. Meanwhile, the
Survivors began a fundraising campaign. Members of the Association and the public made
donations. Survivors set up and manned information tables in front of stores, malls and public
buildings, gave out brochures, sold "Benefactor" buttons, and published a Survivor Journal. The
Iwo Jima Women's Auxiliary worked hard to raise funds for the project.
After calling a meeting of Connecticut survivors of the Battle of Iwo Jima, Dr. George Gentile formed
the Iwo Jima Survivors Association in 1987. The purpose of the Association was to perpetuate the
history and importance of the Battle of Iwo Jima and to build a monument dedicated to the American
servicemen who died there. The Association wanted to complete and dedicate the monument on
February 23, 1995, the 50th anniversary of the historic flag raising on Mount Suribachi. In the years
following the formation of the Association, the Survivors were sucessful in getting part of Route 9
designated as the Iwo Jima Memorial Expressway. A Living Memorial of 100 trees were planted along
the median of the highway.
For information about the Monument and park, please see our Monument page.
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