Today marks the 60th anniversary of the sinking of the U-S-S Juneau, an American warship that was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine during World War Two — a catastrophe which claimed the lives of five brothers from Waterloo. A mural will be unveiled tonight in Waterloo’s Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center. Mosaic muralist Concetta Morales hopes those who see her work will be moved. Morales, who lives in Des Moines, says the mosaic work fills three walls and each piece is ten feet wide and between 16- and 18-feet high. The first wall, called “Home,” features the mother of the Sullivan brothers, five purple hearts, and some elements of Waterloo, including agricultural scenes and the railroad. The second panel, “At Sea,” focuses on the ship, the U-S-S Juneau, and the two Navy ships that have since been named in honor of the Sullivans. Morales describes the last panel, called “Preserving Freedom.” It’s a map depicting hotspots and wars the U-S has fought during the 20th century and it pays homage to all veterans of all military branches. The entire work is called “We Stick Together.” Morales says she was hired to create the mosaic murals a few years ago to debut today. She says she spent many months doing interviews and research on the Sullivans, Waterloo and on the Navy. Morales’ sister is a lieutenant commander in the U-S Navy so she has “a warm place in my heart for people who go out to sea and fight for our country.” Tonight’s ceremony is slated for 7 PM. All five of the Sullivan brothers were killed in the sinking of their ship on November 13, 1942. They enlisted together with the understanding all five would serve together aboard the same ship, though the Navy had discouraged the practice.
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