In a special edition of Hour Power, we remember one of our own, Charles (Chuck) Lindberg of Local 292 in Minneapolis. Lindberg is the embodiment of the most recent IBEW Construction and Maintenance Conference theme, “Don’t Settle for Survival”.
On active duty with the United States Marine Corp. during World War II, Lindberg and his fellow troops victoriously climbed to the top of Mt. Suribachi in the Battle of Iwo Jima to raise the first American flag.
In 2001, Lindberg and his fellow troops were finally honored for their bravery. Finally, in 2007, a memorial in Richfield, MN was erected in their honor, Lindberg being a focal point of this memorial.
During the construction of the memorial, Lindberg made it clear that he did not want to be the sole focus of the memorial and that it was to honor and remember all of the veterans who put their lives on the line for our country.
In addition to being a war hero, Lindberg was a proud member of the IBEW for over 50 years and the IBEW is equally proud of him. Local 292 dedicated their training center to Lindberg to show their appreciation for his service to our country as well as the IBEW.
Thank you, Chuck Lindberg, for your bravery and dedication.
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Transcript – Chuck Lindberg – Don’t Settle For Survival
Welcome to another edition of Hour Power. Today we are focusing on a very special member of the IBEW. Charles Lindberg of Local 292 in Minneapolis. Imagine putting your life on the line in a battle that claimed more lives than the Normandy Invasion. Imagine what our lives would be like without people like Brother Lindberg. He was a hero who agreed with the phrase “Don’t Settle for Survival”. I headed to Richfield, Minnesota to visit the memorial and to St. Michael to visit the JATC that was dedicated after him. Take a look.
In a war that seemed lost, one picture gave people hope. On February 23rd, 1945, Marines climbed to the top of Mt. Suribachi and raised an American flag. This photograph became the defining image of war.
But this image wasn’t the true first flag… It was this one. And in this picture is IBEW member Chuck Lindberg who’s bravery knows went unnoticed.
That is until 2001 when history came knocking with a long overdue recognition to the men that raised the first flag. Of which Chuck was a big part.
The next morning we reported to Colonel Chandler Johnson who handed Schreyer a flag and he said if you get to the top, IF you get to the top, raise it.
Wounded in the arm, Lindberg was awarded the silver star for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States.
After the war, Lindberg joined the IBEW and called it home for over 50 years.
Then in 2007, a memorial was dedicated in Richfield, Minnesota with Lindberg as the focal point.
Chuck said yes you can use me but don’t make me the full focus. Do not make it the Charles Lindberg memorial, Make it a memorial for all veterans, it’s a quiet time, when you walk up to that memorial there is a code of silence. I get goose bumps all the time because I know what the love of those men and women on that wall, on those panels, have put forward. They put their lives on the line for us.
Lindberg was assigned as a flamethrower operator in the Third Platoon and that exact flamethrower sits inside the wall of this JATC to remember him.
It requires a tremendous amount of bravery. That thing is 70 pounds on your back and you’re a target because if that goes out you don’t just take out him but everyone around him. The reason we wanted to name this building after him is because of that bravery he showed and that ability to withstand any struggles he was facing and get to the top and make it happen no matter what.
Lindberg passed away less than three weeks after the JATC dedication.
Chuck would be an inspiration to anybody who wants to make something of themselves, who wants to go the extra mile, who doesn’t mind going into situations that are going to be a challenge.
Today’s challenge for the IBEW is the climb the mountain that reclaims the pinnacle of the electrical industry.
So it’s time…it’s time for the IBEW to not give. It’s about being proud, being the best, and not settling for survival.
My proudest moment in the marines was raising a flag on Iwo Jima. My feeling of being a marine is I served with the finest and I can tell someone that every day.
Chuck Lindberg June 26, 1920 – June 24, 2007.