With today being Memorial Day, newspaper articles on Iwo Jima are in the minds of many Americans, along with the brave men that died there protecting our rights and freedom.
What few know is that this small volcanic island was a source of sulfur mining and sugar refining before the Japanese decided to place a military base on it in 1944. While no American has forgotten what this island cost in American lives or its significance during World War Ii, interest has reemerged with the HBO series, The Pacific.
One of the most famous photographs in the history of man was taken on this little South Pacific island. This picture was of the brave men raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi after the battle of Meatgrinder Hill was won.
In 2005, the 60th anniversary of taking the island occurred. The headlines from the Boston Globe read “60 years later, Iwo Jima Recalled, Veterans unite to pay homage to fallen peers”. In this article, it was mentioned that many of the older veterans were advancing in age and the Vietnam veterans were taking over the tradition of remembering the nearly 6000 men that died to protect the American way of life.
A Vietnam Marine veteran named Jim Hastings of Bellingham was quoted as saying “recognizing veterans of Iwo Jima is only right”. He went on to further say “Honoring them is a part of Marine brotherhood.”
The reason newspaper articles on Iwo Jima are still being written is because of the significance and sacrifice of just a handful of Americans so the rest of us could enjoy FREEDOM.
Happy Memorial Day, please hold our service men and women, as well as all veterans in your thoughts today, and always.