Memorial Day, May 31, 2004
Nancy Sue Johnson participates in Memorial Day Services in Missoula, Montana.
Wreath created by Nancy Sue Johnson for placement at the WWII Memorial Monument.
Nancy Sue, for the American
WWII Orphans' Network, places the wreath at the monument
to honor her father, PFC John Reilly Brown as well as others from Montana who served.
On the afternoon of Memorial Day, Nancy Sue Johnson participated in a service at Rose Park, where there are Memorials for WW II, Korean War, Vietnam, Desert Storm and Fallen Police Officers.
She joined the VFW Women's Auxiliary in presenting and laying the wreaths at each Memorial. At the beginning of the ceremony, Nancy Sue was given the opportunity to make a formal presentation of the wreath she had made on behalf of American WW II Orphans Network.
After the presentation was made and the walk begun to lay the wreaths, a Native American woman approached her with a big hug and said with tear filled eyes "I want to be with you, I want to walk with you" She then told Nancy Sue that her brother,whose last name was Charlo, was the first soldier to raise the American Flag on Iwo Jima. Her brother was later KIA in another location. She is the lady in the red jacaket standing near Nancy as the wreath is laid at the WW II Monument in the center of Rose Park.
Update: On Tuesday, July 13th, the lady in the red jacket -- Carole Patricia Charlo Sorrell -- passed away. She was a member of the Confederate Salish Tribe and grew up in the Bitterroot Valley in Victor where Nancy Sue also grew up (but never knew her then). The town of Victor was named after Carole's Great-grandfather Chief Victor.
A note to Nancy Sue from AWONer Gloria Haslam from Ronan, Montana brought this detail . . .
"Her brother was PFC Louis Charles Charlo of Evaro. He was a Marine who helped raise the first flag on Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima. He was a member of this reservation. His sister's name was Carole and he had a brother named Victor and his father, Antoine, lived in Elmo. He was seventeen years old when he helped raise the flag and turned eighteen two days before he was killed by a sniper. He attended schools in St. Ignatius and Polson and is buried in the St. Ignatius Catholic cemetery."
The monument in Missoula bears names of those who died in WW II. One of the local TV stations was there after the wreath was placed and interviewed Nancy as to why she was presenting the wreath and what Memorial Day meant to her. She was able to tell them about American WW II Orphans Network and how we pay tribute to all who died in WW II.
Congratulations, Nancy Sue,
for representing us all!
The photos were provided by Nancy Sue Johnson, with thanks!
In memory of PFC John Riley
Brown, who was also remembered this day
in Washington, D.C. -- at the newly dedicated National WWII Memorial.