- Associated Press - Monday, February 27, 2017

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Crews have moved a statue that honors Waterloo’s Sullivan brothers to a Catholic high school, ensuring a long future for a memorial that honors five siblings killed while serving in the Navy during World War II.

The Courier (https://bit.ly/2lYh4cm ) reports the 60-year-old memorial has been relocated to an outdoor chapel on the grounds of Columbus High School. The statue’s 2-and-a-half-ton base is engraved with the brothers’ names and topped by an Italian marble Catholic statue of the Virgin Mary.

George, Francis, Joseph, Madison and Albert Sullivan died after their ship, the cruiser USS Juneau, was sunk by the Japanese on Nov. 13, 1942.

The statue was moved from Waterloo Knights of Columbus Council 700’s building, which is for sale. The statue was previously on the grounds of the former St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the Sullivans’ parish.

Columbus history teacher Gary Schnieders said the statue’s relocation has special significance to him. He was an altar boy at St. Mary’s during a Mass in which the statue was dedicated there in 1956.

“It’s part of Catholic education,” Schnieders said. “But more importantly, for these young people, it is a symbol of what sacrifice means. It’s not just a statue. It’s what it represents. So I’m real excited to have it here. It represents parents who saw their sons give up their lives for their country. Five young men, parents, who in my mind went above and beyond. They gave everything for the country. For our freedoms.”

All but 13 of the ship’s crew of 700 perished. Many sailors survived the actual sinking but died of exposure, shark attacks or wounds in the following days.

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Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, https://www.wcfcourier.com

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