Sunday, February 20, 2005

This Day in History

The raising of the American flag at Iwo Jima Posted by Hello

Sixty years ago today, more than 70,000 U.S. Marines began their assault on a small volcanic island in the Pacific called Iwo Jima. For the next seven weeks, the Marines and Japanese soldiers fought a battle that would determine the outcome of the Pacific War. When it was over, 6821 Marines were killed and nearly 20,000 came home wounded or maimed for life. The 21,000 Japanese defenders were annihilated almost to a man.

This weekend, Iwo Jima veterans will likely meet for a final time to commemorate the American victory and to remember those who sacrificed their lives. From the Washington Post:

Hundreds of Iwo Jima veterans, most in their late seventies or early eighties, are expected to attend the Reunion of Honor this weekend. The reunion will begin today with a ceremony at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico that will include a reenactment of the flag raising. Tomorrow, a ceremony is scheduled at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, with its famed statue of the flag raising.
I wonder if America has the wherewithal to make that kind of sacrifice today? Would America look at those losses this grievous such as at Iwo Jima, after years at war, and figure that we had sacrificed enough? One cannot even fathom the present-day media's reaction to such losses! A headline today might read: "Roosevelt Administration's Claims About Winning the War Called 'Lies' After Iwo Jima".

Over the past two years, Iraq has had too much death and violence but nowhere near on the scale of Iwo Jima (1478 killed, 10,968 wounded to date). But one thing is for certain: the same American valor and courage responsible for victory at Iwo Jima is present today in Iraq and Afghanistan. God bless our troops and veterans.


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