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The Sullivan brothers George Francis Eugene Madison and Albert were the sons of Thomas and Aleta Sullivan of Waterloo The brothers ranged from age 20 to 29 when they enlisted in the US Navy after learning of the death of a good friend at Pearl Harbor At their request the five were assigned to the same ship the cruiser Juneau This was against Navy policy but the Sullivans request was granted The Juneau was sunk by the Japanese in November 1942 during the battle for the Solomon Islands Four of the brothers went down with their ship The fifth George was badly wounded He made it to a life raft but died before Juneaus survivors were rescued This was the greatest sacrifice by any one American family during World War II A destroyer was later names for the Sullivans by the Navy and a movie was made about them and the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center has been dedicated to them Sullivan Memorial Park is located in the neighborhood where the brothers grew upIsolationism is a former United States foreign policy advocating the avoidance of alliances with other nations I order to maintain freedom of action in world affairs It had its roots in the American Revolution Early leaders endorsed commercial treaties and trade expansion but they warned against long term political and military commitments For most of the 19th century Americans developed the continent without interference and viewed isolationism as a fixed principle These conditions began to change by the early 1900s The rise of Germany and Japan challenged the establishment order in Europe and East Asia During the war the traditional policy of isolationism in the US entered the conflict in 1917 Following the war many Americans became committed to the world law and collective security but the Congress of the US passed strict neutrality legislation After the outbreak of the war isolationists lost ground to those who favored sending aid to Allied
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