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Don and Wanda Nordlie, residents of Ecumen of Litchfield, were at the battle of Iwo Jima almost 70 years ago. He was a Marine sergeant, and she was a nurse.
Two other Litchfield men, Roger Tipka, U. S. Army, and Stan Mortenson, U.S. Navy, also were there.
Don, Roger and Stan raised the flag during the National Anthem at a Minnesota Twins game a couple of weeks ago, no doubt remembering the famous Iwo Jima flag-raising that happened six days into what would be a bloody 36-day battle leaving almost 30,000 dead.
Litchfield resident Tim Mergen has brought their story to life, turning their battlefield recollections into a presentation honoring their service. Mergen points out that Iwo Jima is “pretty close to the size of Litchfield” and asks his audiences to “imagine going around Litchfield and laying 30,000 bodies across that town.”
How Mergen pieced the story together and continues to bring it home for local residents is the cover story in the September issue of Zest Magazine, a publication of the Litchfield Independent Review.