Family remembers the Sullivan Brothers, 75 years after their dea - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Family remembers the Sullivan Brothers, 75 years after their deaths

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

The five Sullivan Brothers from Waterloo died when the USS Juneau was hit by a torpedo on November 13, 1942.

75 years later, the spirit of the brave brothers lives on in the countless sailors who serve on the USS The Sullivans.

"January 3, 1942. Five brothers from Waterloo," chanted the Sully sailors from the USS The Sullivans as they marched through New York City on Saturday. As they marched, the sailors told the story of five brothers from Waterloo, who died fighting side-by-side.

"They would go, 'We Stick!' and everybody else would go, 'Together!" said Kelly Sullivan, the only granddaughter and grandniece of the Sullivan brothers.

Kelly had the honor of leading the sailors down the parade route.

"I could see all of them marching. As I would turn around, I would get tears because look at these men and women and how absolutely amazing they are. They are carrying on the legacy of not just the Sullivans, but all of our veterans," said Kelly.

The sponsor of the USS The Sullivans and a dedicated advocate of the Navy, Kelly recognizes the brothers represent more than the Irish family from Waterloo, Iowa. The brothers also represent the sacrifice made by all veterans then and now.

"A bittersweet day thinking about all those people who were killed. There were over 700 sailors on the USS Juneau that died that day. We aren't just talking about the Sullivans, we are talking about one of the worst battles in WWII," said Kelly.

The events of November 13, 1942 are something the Sullivans, the Navy and the Cedar Valley have worked hard to ensure are never forgotten.

Monday, the City of Waterloo made a proclamation to recognize 75 years since the USS Juneau sank.

But for the Sullivans, it doesn't take a milestone to remember.

"I remember them every day of the year, every year. I don't have to wait for the 10th anniversary, 25th, 50th or the 75th," said Murray Davidson, the nephew of the five Sullivan Brothers.

Davidson and Kelly Sullivan invite the Cedar Valley to remember all veterans on Saturday during a ceremony at the Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum.  The ceremony starts at 1 p.m. and will include a keynote speech by Rear Admiral Richard A. Brown, former Commander of the USS The Sullivans.

Saturday night, the Waterloo Black Hawks will honor the brothers by wearing commemorative jerseys, which will be auctioned off to benefit the Cedar Valley Honor Flight and the veterans museum.

Veterans and active military can receive complimentary tickets to Saturday's game against the Green Bay Gamblers.

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