Story & Photography by Tony Centonze
Stewart Sykes and his team at Sykes Funeral Home held a special event recently, welcoming more than 100 guests for dinner and a presentation by featured speaker Edgar Harrell, one of the survivors of the USS Indianapolis.
“Recently we had Edgar Harrell with us,” Sykes said. “We enjoyed dinner, catered by Mission BBQ, and then Mr. Harrell shared his amazing story. He's a busy man, so we've been talking with him for the last seven or eight months trying to secure him as a speaker. Once we had a date, we put out the invites, and within 72 hours we reached our capacity.”
Harrell is the author of two books, including “Out Of The Depths,” which tells his story of survival at sea after the sinking of the USS Indianapolis on July 30, 1945.
Harrell, now in his nineties, greeted guests at the door and posed for pictures with them. “It's a privilege to tell my story,” he said. “I speak all over the United States and Canada. In fact, I have six more states to visit this year.”
“At the end of tonight's event, we are going to have a drawing and give away 30 autographed copies of his book,” Sykes said. “We were pleased to have him here.”