Saturday, February 19, 2005

Iwo Jima

Greetings (I reckon that's an acceptable way to begin the firt post in my weblog)

Today is the 60th anniversary of the battle for Iwo Jima. Iwo Jima is the premier battle in the annals of wars the U.S. has fought. Many other battles engender thoughts of heroism, but none like Iwo Jima. The photograph of the flag raising on the top of Mt. Suribachi is engraved in the minds of all americans. But there is much about the battle folks do not know. One fact that has always impressed me is that the famous flag raising was not the first flag raising. The first flag raised was "too small" to be seen all over the Island, so another was raised, and the most reproduced photograph of all time was born. There is another great photo of the flag exchange atop Suribachi. Another fact is that While Mt. Suribachi had many Japanese guns on it, the move up the mountain itself was not as deadly as expected because shelling and bombs from the US kept the Japanese hunkered down. The beach landing was far more deadly for the marines. Many heros of the battle were rewarded with medals; most were not. But heros were they all, every one of them.

Which brings me to my thoughts this morning. My son is a US Marine PFC serving in a remote part of Iraq. Daily he faces attacks by AIFs (anti Iraq forces). Daily he does his job. Mortars, snipers, IEDs (improvised explosive devices..........booby traps), mines, Rockets, unfriendly Iraqis of the Baath persuasion, foreign Jihadists have no affect on his doing of his job. He stands his post outside his base, or in a OP (observation post) in town, or on a corner, or next to a wounded marine, or in a convoy, or on a chopper to Al Asad or Fallujah, or wherever his commanding officer says he should be, because he is a marine. He stands in the very place a friend of his was standing when hit by a sniper's bullet, and does not cower. He takes a knee beside another wounded friend exposing himself to the enemy, while a corpsman does battle repairs, and calmly fires his rifle only when he "has a target". He sits in the back of a 7 ton truck riding through the desert knowing that 3 out of 4 convoys hit mines, and says "we're pretty well armored". One man's son is another man's hero. Yet he's my hero too.

In one letter home (one of only 3) he wrote that "things are not too bad here" and that he is overwhelmed by thoughts of marines past who had to suffer much more than he does. He believes that comparatively he has it "easy". During one 3 week stretch of incredibly cold winter he had no heat and no hot water. Yeah right.......real easy. He simply joked about how the "guys get used to the smell" of their unshowered fellow marines.

I could go on and on about the US Marines of today, and how they are indeed as heroic as those of yesterday, but today is a day to remember yesterdays, those of 60 years ago, who did what they did because they were US Marines

If I knew how to post links and photos, I would post the photo, and links to great historical articles.....but you all know how to google


At 4:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for a very moving post; my father-in-law was a Marine on Iowa Jima. Your son sounds like a fine young American--like so many other fine young Americans doing their job. May God keep him safe and bless all our soldiers and Marines over there.

At 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading your post. I very much appreciate the Christian perspective you give to it. I am thankful for men like your son who are willing to defend freedom and our country.

At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a 48 yr old who never served miliary time, but I am always insipired by people like you and your son who put there lives on hold in order to serve their country. My dad served in WWII.
No matter now sucessful I am in my career, I alway admire and respect those that servied in the US military. I enjoyed your article. Iowa Jima; I'm sure you saw more than what you wrote.
God Bless you and your son.


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