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Published: Sunday, 5/26/2013

Perrysburger to be on Nat Geo

Bob Romaker will be on the National Geographic channel at 7 p.m. May 31

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Marine Corporal Bob Romaker, 86, salutes. Marine Corporal Bob Romaker, 86, salutes.
THE BLADE/DAVE ZAPOTOSKY Enlarge | Buy This Photo

Perrysburg World War II veteran Bob Romaker will be on the National Geographic channel at 7 p.m. May 31 during a documentary called "Inside World War II."

The Marine veteran talks about the invasion of Iwo Jima and historic flag raising.

The footage in the film is from interviews Mr. Romaker did several years ago with Richard Baranowski of Way Public Library. It was discovered by Tower Productions in Chicago, which is putting together the documentary. 

"World War II involved millions of people at thousands of places," Mr. Romaker said. "I feel honored they picked me out of all the possible people to share my story."

Mr. Romaker said he will only have a short nugget in the two-hour program, but he is still honored.

About a year ago, Tower Productions contacted Mr. Baranowski after it heard about his Veteran History Project through the Library of Congress. Mr. Baranowski sent Tower Productions about 40 interview video tapes, and they selected Mr. Romaker out of those. 

"I think it is great Bob is still alive and can enjoy it," Mr. Baranowski said. "A lot of the people I've interviewed aren't."

Mr. Romaker's part in the documentary is toward the end of the program. He talked about the invasion of Iwo Jima and saw the historic flag-raising on Mount Suribachi. 

"I was in the lower flats and heard shouting and yelling," Mr. Romaker said. "I was minding my radio set and turned and looked and saw they were taking the little flag down and putting the big one up."

While the Marines were putting the big flag up, the historic photo was taken.

"It is the most famous photograph of the 20th century," Mr. Baranowski said. "Every time I talk to [Mr. Romaker] I think, this is a special person."

Mr. Baranowski is proud of the Way Public Library Veteran History Project for being honored. And he said he is happy for the Romaker family and Perrysburg to have this honor. 

"I was at the right place at the right time," Mr. Romaker said.

For those who have Buckeye Cable, National Geographic is on channel 62. The DVD goes on sale in June.

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.



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