SAN DIEGO — At the Mt. Soledad Memorial, the US Marine Corps honored a living legend, Colonel Dave Severance. Not only did the colonel serve his country bravely in WWII, but his actions might have turned the tide of the war on the homefront.
Under the giant white cross of Mt. Soledad, hundreds of plaques adorn the memorial to the men and women who have served in the United States Military.
On Saturday, a man who’s service spanned 30 years and three wars joined the ranks of those memorialized in La Jolla. Colonel Dave Severance, 99 years old and a La Jolla resident since the '60s was in attendance as Brigadier General Ryan Heritage spoke of his legacy.
The year was 1945, American troops have been liberating islands in the Pacific against fierce opposition from Japanese Forces. In February, the United States landed on the small island of Iwo Jima.
After intense fighting and thousands of casualties, American forces captured Mt. Suribachi. Six Marines planted the American flag atop the mountain. With orders from Easy Company’s commander, Colonel Dave Severance
Associated Press Photographer Joe Rosenthal was there to capture the iconic image, which was used to drum up support and funds for the war effort.
The raising of the flag on Iwo Jima has become an enduring symbol of the Marine Corps and Colonel Severance is the embodiment of the values of what the corps represent.