Pictured are, from left: Rusty Clayton, Brooklyn Ruritan Club; Tom Ryan, Brooklyn American Legion Post 294; Francene Cranston, Deep River American Legion Auxiliary; Gary Quinlan, Deep River American Legion; Warren Lyddon, Commander of the Sons of the American Legion in Deep River; and Roger VanErsvelde, Harold “Pie” Keller Memorial Committee. Clayton told the gathering that the memorial will be placed on the east end of the Brooklyn Avenue of Flags and a dedication will be held later in the year.
Member groups of the Deep River American Legion Post 296 made an $850 donation to the Harold “Pie” Keller Memorial Committee in a brief ceremony on Thursday, March 11 at the Legion Hall in Deep River. The funds will go toward the construction of a life-size bronze statue in honor of Harold “Pie” Keller, a life-long Brooklyn resident, who was one of the six Marines to raise the American Flag on Mount Suribachi during the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima. “Pie,” as he was known, had been mis-identified in the iconic photo taken of the flag raising by Associated Press photographer, Joe Rosenthal, on Feb. 23, 1945. The mis-identification was brought to light in 2019 by Brent Westemeyer of Johnston, an amateur historian and avid reader of military and historical books, who spent more than a half dozen years researching photos and watching Bill Genaust’s film from the battle of Iwo Jima to correctly identify “Pie.”