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MIDDLETOWN – More than 30 senior and junior students from Vinal Technical High School in Middletown displayed 100 flags at the Iwo Jima National Memorial in Newington on April 20.

‘A cold wind did not seem to dampen the spirits’ of students who participated in the annual spring cleaning at the monument on the New Britain-Newington line, next to the Iwo Jima Memorial Highway, according to a press release from Linda D. Kozaryn.

Students visited the site for the 77th annual flag raising in February, David Cruickshank, department head of the school’s criminal justice and protective services program, said in a prepared statement. “It was so important to the students that they asked to come back here to help. We plan to come back every year now.”

The monument sits on land donated by Central Connecticut State University, just off Route 175 in Newington.


Program instructor Joe Linskey said the group had established a good relationship during their previous visit to the site and wanted to maintain a good relationship and provide support.

“We want to let them know that we are still here to help them for the sacrifices these men and women made before us,” he said. “We are happy to be here. It’s the least we can do. Many hands do light work.

Students picked up sticks, raked leaves, pulled weeds and displayed flags, one for each of the 100 Connecticut residents who died on Iwo Jima during World War II. The nameplates of the fallen servicemen rest on the black fence defining the site. The flags are displayed above each name from spring through fall, the press release said.

Students love coming to the site, Linskey said. “We spend a lot of time in our classroom covering theory and different things in our profession for criminal justice and protective services. It’s something completely different, because it kind of covers the historical value of some of the things that we teach in the trade.

Sole Law, a sophomore who wants to become a family law attorney, said she enjoyed visiting the monument. His grandfathers served in the Vietnam War. “It’s really nice to know that we are helping. It’s really beautiful here, the flowers and the landscape. It’s really pretty.