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70th Anniversary of Iwo Jima Battle


Glenn Reed

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That's a great read.

 

I got to attend the 70th anniversary celebration of the Battle of Midway a couple years back. Ordinary people that did extraordinary things.

 

 

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I had the honor of riding with a veteran of Iwo Jima a few years back guiding his way through the Molly Stark trail in Vermont. We had a nice pre ride breakfast where he told of his exploits there after the main battle and the island was secured. I told him about my life in Subs. Our conversations went really well and we enjoyed each others company that day in which he thanked me for breaking up the solitude on his round trip ride around the USA. The guy was in his eighties and he handled his Harley like a seasoned pro. I hope that I can be so nimble riding when I approach that age.

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Tanks Glenn for posting this today!

 

"It's important to me, because after 70 years, people forget," she said. "People forget the sacrifices that were made. We are their legacy, their children and grandchildren. We are their legacy, and we should keep the battle in the forefront."

 

Most people indeed have forgotten, or never took the time to become aware of, the sacrifices are parent's generation made!

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When I was in high school, my mom's walking friend was an old gentleman name Wilson. All my mom ever told me was that he served in the Marine Corps in WWII. It wasn't until after he found out that I had joined that he told us that he was part of the first wave to hit Okinawa. At that time, while still in the delayed entry program (17), it didn't really mean that much to me as I'd never heard of this Okinawa place, Iwo, yes, Oki, no.

 

Fast forward several years and I get stationed on Okinawa. After being there for a bit, I find it quite hard to believe that these men were able to get on the land at all. Amazing, simply amazing.

 

I was at Iwo Jima, which is called Iwo To by the Japanese, in 2006 for 61st anniversary. We provided the platform, USS Essex, to move personnel around for the anniversary. It really is just a rock sticking up out of the water, not real big at all, less than a half marathon around, but a giant stepping stone in the island hopping campaign. Captain Earl Ellis is to thank for the design of the amphibious warfare and island hopping strategy.

 

If you really want some other hardship stories, find one of the Marines that was part of the Frozen Chosin, those guys are amazing to listen to and have zero political correctness.

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