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Signing history

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By Becca Owsley

bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com

Author Ron Elliott of Nelson County will be in Elizabethtown for a book signing at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Hardin County Public Library, 100 Jim Owen Drive.

His book “From Hilltop to Mountaintop: The Life and Legacy of One Iwo Jima Flag Raiser,” chronicles the life of Kentucky native Franklin Sousley, who was in the famous flag-raising photograph.

The idea for the book came from a trip several years ago when Elliott was in a military cemetery on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach.

“As I walked along through the orderly rows of graves, I observed that every one said, born 1924, killed June 6, 1944 or born 1925, killed June 6, 1944,” Elliott said. “These were just boys.”

He thought about the soldiers underneath the stones, mother’s baby boys.

“And they surely didn’t want to do this, die at 19 and be buried in France never to go home again,” Elliott said. “But they did it and they did it to save democracy for me and you.”

Elliott left the cemetery wondering how he could repay those who sacrificed so much.

He remembered that one of the men in Joe Rosenthal’s Iwo Jima picture was from Kentucky.

“Then the thought hit me that good ole Fleming County boy Franklin Sousley was chosen by fate to be representative of all who fought and died to save the world for us,” Elliott said. “Franklin deserves more recognition than he’s ever gotten and, more importantly, by honoring Franklin we honor and perhaps partially repay them all.”

He believes that Sousley’s life is not only interesting but also a tragic and delightful story.

Elliott also has penned the books “Assassination at the State House,” “The Silent Brigade,” “Inside the Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire” and “Through the Eyes of Lincoln.”

For more information on the book signing call (270) 769-6337.

Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741.