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Antigo, WI: Palace Theatre Holds "Flags of Our Fathers" Premiere to Honor Hometown Hero

Posted on Thursday, October 19th, 2006. Last Updated on Thursday, October 19th, 2006 9:38 PM by Scott Jentsch

The small Wisconsin town of Antigo played host to a premiere of Clint Eastwood's new movie "Flags of Our Fathers" which opens wide on Friday, October 20th. The movie heralds the achievement surrounding the raising of the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima, a historical event frozen in time by a photograph whose scene later become a national monument.

Why in Antigo, Wisconsin, population of 8.560? Because that was the hometown of John Bradley, the last surviving Iwo Jima flag-raiser. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel covered the event in an article in Thursday's edition:

As spotlights blazed and hundreds of people crowded into this small community's only theater for a Hollywood premiere Wednesday night, it was worthy of note that the hero of the movie wasn't here.

John Bradley, the last surviving Iwo Jima flag-raiser, died in 1994. Had he been alive to see the movie version of his son's book, "Flags of Our Fathers," he would have been embarrassed by the attention.

"I don't think he would care for all the fuss," his youngest son, Tom Bradley, said before the special screening. "But he would think it's important that all those who see the film will have respect for veterans."

Everyone in Antigo knew John Bradley. Everyone knew he was in The Photograph. Everyone knew he didn't want to talk about it, so they didn't ask.

After Bradley's death, his family found boxes of memorabilia that inspired one of his sons to write a bestselling book, "Flags of Our Fathers." That book turned into the movie being shown.

To read the entire article, click the Read link below.



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