BROOKLYN, Iowa — The community of Brooklyn is working to honor one of its own, Harold Pie Keller, for his service in World War II.
In 2019 it was discovered by some amateur historians that the photo of the U.S. Marines raising the flag at Mount Suribachi at Iwo Jima, included Keller, though he never discussed his role there, even with his family.
“There’s some people that kind of knew that he had, but it was never really public,” said Rusty Clayton of the Brooklyn Community Foundation. “He really didn’t want to talk about it, he just wanted to live his life in Brooklyn, Iowa.”
Rusty Clayton of the Brooklyn Community Foundation, knew Keller when he was growing up.
“He actually lived about a half a block from where I live now, and my first house was the house his mother lived in,” said Clayton. “Harold was an all-American boy, a country boy, he’s a great guy, he was also very very humble.”
Clayton shared that if Keller were around today, he might be angry over the attention on him.
The Brooklyn Community Foundation is raising the $110,000 cost of a life-sized statue of Keller, which will be located by the Brooklyn Avenue of Flags. The fund is approaching $100,000 now according to Clayton.
The town is also working with Henry Repeating Firearms company which has made a commemorative, limited-edition .22 caliber rifle with a drawing of Keller on Mount Suribachi. The limited-edition rifle serial number 001 will be auctioned off this week on Gunbroker.com, item #902646486. The proceeds from that auction will go to the Keller statue fund.
Keller’s 100th birthday would have been this August 3rd. It is hoped to get the statue up by this fall.
People wanting to support this effort can send a check to: The Brooklyn Community Foundation, P.O. Box 271, Brooklyn, Iowa 52211.