WNC Iwo Jima Veteran Wants Youths To Understand The True Meaning Of Casualties Of War
Edward Lannigan has a box full of medals that testify to his heroic service in the Pacific Theater during World War II, including his presence at Iwo Jima, the bloodiest battle in the history of the U.S. Marine Corps. The battle began 65 years ago this weekend.
In Lannigan's box are two Purple Hearts, a Silver Medal, two presidential citations and other awards attached to fading ribbons, small but poignant recognition of the bravery of a young man — a boy, really — who would return home from war with shrapnel in his skull and only one functional arm and hand.
But the medals are not on display. They live inside the box in a dark corner of the bottom drawer of the desk in his study.
There are many veterans who proudly showcase their war-related decorations. Lannigan is not one of them.