Veterans meet in Indianapolis to remember historic event

August 25, 2013 by  

Survivors of the USS Indianapolis met recently in the city to remember the historic disaster – and got a heroes’ welcome from the city.

There are 38 survivors still living, 15 of whom made their way to the city for the gathering – a meeting most agree is important to their continued healing. Almost seven decades after the disaster, the survivors still have nightmares about their ordeal in the shark-infested sea, and talking with other survivors is reported to help. They also continue to share their stories of the disaster with others, to keep history alive and to impart life lessons, such as “never give up”.

For many younger people today, World War Two is ancient history and individual events that occurred during the conflict are unknown. However, the sinking of the USS Indianapolis has earned a spot in popular culture, thanks partly to a monologue in the film Jaws.

In the speech, Quint (Robert Shaw) tells his listeners (Roy Scheider as Sheriff Martin Brody and Richard Dreyfuss as scientist Matt Hooper) about the terrible events that occurred after the Indianapolis was torpedoed:

“So, eleven hundred men went in the water; 316 men come out and the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945.”

The speech is widely considered one of the highlights of the film.

The Indiana War Museum is currently putting together an exhibit about the ship and welcomed a visit from the survivors. Museum officials might consider working with brochure printers to create a piece specifically about the disaster and the exhibit stemming from it.