Library to host book talk, signing

By Messenger Staff | Published Wednesday, October 5, 2016
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Researcher Dennis Blocker, who was instrumental in writing “The Heart of Hell: The Untold Story of Courage and Sacrifice in the Shadow of Iwo Jima,” will speak at the Decatur Public Library 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 10.

After losing his grandfather, Blocker was compelled to begin his search into his grandfather’s service during World War II. This endeavor turned into a massive research project that encompassed his grandfather, other crewmembers, and their sacrifices during a battle that happened two days before the battle of Iwo Jima.

Blocker spent a decade painstakingly gathering historical documents, interviewing survivors of the war and their families and putting together the vital research that helped create “The Heart of Hell.”

Blocker’s personal connection to the history and love for the subject makes for an inspiring and entertaining presentation that appeals to history enthusiasts, writers, veterans and other researchers.

“If it wasn’t for Blocker, there would be no book,” said Mitch Weiss, author of the book. “No one knows more than Blocker about the characters and the mission that had a profound effect on so many lives.”

Blocker will sign copies of the book at the conclusion of his presentation. For information, call the library at 940-393-0290 or visit

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