On February 17, 2015, Mikhail Kolodko created a mini-sculpture commemorating an American soldier. the origin of Michael Strunk. He, along with five brothers-in-arms, was recorded in the famous photo of Joe Rosenthal ” Raising the flag over Iwo Jima”, made on February 23, 1945. In addition, his feat is immortalized in the movie “Flags of our fathers” by Clint Eastwood.
Michael Strank was a platoon leader of American soldiers the armies that raised the flag over Iwo Jima (Japan) on mount Suribachi. The battle for Iwo Jima was the first U.S. operation on Japanese soil. She was one of turning points of the Second world war. Until the end of March 1945, three of the six people in the photo were killed in action, including Michael Strank.
The mini-sculpture is located in the school’s courtyard with Slovak language of instruction (GPS: 48.625937, 22.296445).Thus we decided to crown the memory of the great countryman as for Ukrainians’, тAK and for Slovaks. After all, by origin, Michael Strank was Ukrainian. However, he lived with his family in a settlement on the territory of modern Slovakia.
An interesting legend about this mini-sculpture is told in his book «Uzhgorod – world capital of mini-sculptures” Nadezhda Popadyuk. According to legend, in 1921, the mother of Michael Strunk, when he was only two years old, had a dream in which her husband fell into an abyss, and a young boy threw him a long piece of cloth and he, grasping it, was able to escape. Looking more closely at the fabric, she noticed that it was an American flag, which the young man grabbed and ran up the mountain, where he later disappeared from the horizon. She woke up and realized that this was a sign, after consulting with her husband, the family decided to move to the United States in search of a better life. That is why, according to legend, Michael’s parents Vasily Strenk and Marta Grofikova, natives of the village of Oryabina (Slovakia) decided to look for a better fate overseas. After the death of Michael, his mother remembered her prophetic dream and decided to perpetuate the heroism of her son by installing a mini-sculpture of a young man with a flag on his native Ukrainian land in the city of Uzhgorod.
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