The 2015 Walk of Honor Warrior Award recipient is World War II US Marine Corps Veteran Anthony Yakacki. Yakacki landed on Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945 on his 19th birthday. Marines in the landing craft sang Happy Birthday to him before they stormed the beaches. Yakacki was on Iwo Jima until March 12, 1945 when he was wounded. He was only one of four survivors out of his group of 30 Marines.
Event founder and organizer Mary Teicholz says he remembers vividly today how he had to collect the dog tags of the fallen Marines and the fierce fighting with an enemy that was dug in well. A piece of metal remains in his back from the attack. Yakacki says he can still remember the blood soaked sand and seeing the wounded and deceased service members.
He never really talked much with his family about how he was wounded. His son recently learned more about his father's service and nominated him for this award.
Anthony Yakacki is 90 years old and still flies the American and USMC flag in front of his Danbury home. The longtime Danbury resident came home and coached baseball and was a Boy Scout Leader.
Presentation of the Warrior Award will take place at the Walk of Honor on Sunday at the Danbury War Memorial at noon. Additional bricks for the Veterans Walkway will be dedicated. Pillars lining the walkway were recently installed there.
The ceremony is inside the Danbury War Memorial. A one-mile walk will follow the ceremony and is rain or shine. It is mapped out around Rogers Park, but will be held indoors if there's inclement weather.