Flag raising ceremony honors Kentucky veterans

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Steven Hughes watched as the University of Kentucky Army and Air Force ROTC honored his grandfather Elwood “Woody” Hughes and other Kentucky veterans, like Franklin Sousley who was immortalized in the iconic Joe Rosenthal photo of the flag-raising.

“To see that type of honor being paid to those who deserve it. Yeah, I’ll remember this for the rest of my life,” Hughes said.

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Woody Hughes witnessed the flag-raising on top of Mount Suribachi in 1945.

He passed away earlier this month at 95.

“My grandfather was a storyteller, he was a teacher, in the war he was a communicator, he was a runner, a messenger,” Hughes said.

One of his wishes was for schools to honor the anniversary of the iconic flag-raising which lifted the nation’s morale at a time when it was needed most. The University of Kentucky did just that.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please rise for the raising of the U.S. colors,” Cadet said.

Marking 76 years since the deadly battle.

“The mission was a success and continues to be recognized as an American symbol of valor, freedom, and patriotism,” Cadet said.