The Canby/Aurora VFW Post 6057 already faced significant challenges in holding its 76th anniversary remembrance ceremony of the flag raising at Iwo Jima — not the least of which was gathering size restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic — and that was before a historic ice storm knocked out power to the entire city of Canby and hundreds of thousands of other Oregonians exactly one week earlier.
But Martin Lackner, post commander and longtime organizer of the event, just couldn’t stomach not doing anything to remember the sacrifice of the men who fought and died in one of the bloodiest and most pivotal battles of World War II.
“You know, it was even mentioned to cancel this year’s event altogether, but a small group of us decided that we just couldn’t do that,” he said. “We wanted to hold a small gathering to make sure that those who gave their lives for our country weren’t forgotten.”
Last year’s historic event, in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the battle, had been a grand affair, with distinguished speakers, live Taps, reenactors and a 21-gun salute. This year’s — held Saturday morning outside the Canby Adult Center — was much more modest, with 10 people in attendance.
But the core elements remained — including the sprinkling of several small packets of that “famous black sand” onto the rock at the Canby Adult Center that commemorates those who fought and died at Iwo Jima.