Mr. [Charles] Rice remembers being inspired by his eighth grade teacher, Miss Shae, who stressed the importance of patriotism. Every day his class would say the Pledge of Allegiance and study the Constitution. He recalls the “Day of Infamy,” when Pearl Harbor was bombed. He was 15 years old, and he remembers seniors leaving school to join the military.
Two years later, at 17, he decided to enlist in the Marines, despite his parents’ preference that he wait at least another year. He was deployed to the central Pacific, and later was sent to Iwo Jima, where he served as a loader on the USS Salt Lake City. From there, he loaded ammunition onto anti-aircraft weaponry. He remembers the heavy shelling that lasted for several days, and the view he saw through binoculars while standing on his ship: the American flag that had been raised so famously.