President /CEO CedarStone Bank
The Kiwanis Club of Lebanon celebrated a great event on Monday, October 26, as the local civic organization hosted Edgar Harrell, USMC survivor of the embattled USS Indianapolis, to speak about his experience and rescue from the Pacific Ocean while stationed on the Naval vessel during World War II.
A packed house of some 300 people was on hand to hear the 91-year-old Marine tell his story of how he and 300 others survived the sinking of their battleship in the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean by a Japanese submarine. Of the 1,197 aboard, more than 900 made it into the water, leaving just over 300 trapped and unable to abandon ship. For the next four-and-a-half days the men of the Indy, lost at sea, would experience dehydration, hypothermia, mass hallucination, while swimming and treading water in the shark-infested Pacific Ocean. Only 317 would be eventually rescued.
Mr. Harrell is a true American hero. His story will forever be etched in the minds of his audience, and kudos to the Kiwanis Club of Lebanon for bringing this gentleman to our community so that he could tell his story.
Mr. Harrell and his wife, Ola, reside in Clarksville and recently celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary. Mr. Harrell has written a book telling of his experience titled Out of the Depths, A Survivor's Story of the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis, as told by Mr. Harrell, written by his son David Harrell with a forward from Lt. Col. Oliver L. North, USMC, (Ret.). More information on the book is available at www.indysurvivor.com
The Kiwanis Club of Lebanon has been a part of our community since 1945. From sponsoring Little League youth baseball to the annual Easter Sunrise Service, the local civic club continues to improve our community through sponsoring these type of events. Proceeds from the event benefited the Wilson County Veterans Park and Museum. A preliminary check in the amount of $5,000 was presented to the Veterans Park and Museum during a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, October 29. Hats off to the members of the Kiwanis Club of Lebanon and the role they play in our community.