Sunday, February 23, 2020

On this day in 1945

Marines raised the flag on Iwo Jima. No small feat, the invasion began only four days before on the 19th. Iwo Jima was defended by 21,000 Japanese Army troops. They inflicted 26,000 U.S. casualties including 6,800 dead. Of that force, only 1,083 were taken prisoner, the rest being killed in battle for the most part.
The Japanese had evacuated Iwo Jima's residents in 1944 in preparation for the battle. To this day there are no permanent residents on the Island. In 1985 survivors of the battle reunited and unveiled a plaque commemorating the battle. It reads, "On the 40th anniversary of the battle of Iwo Jima, American and Japanese veterans met again on these same sands, this time in peace and friendship. We commemorate our comrades, living and dead, who fought here with bravery and honor, and we pray together that our sacrifices on Iwo Jima will always be remembered and never be repeated."
Today marks 75 years, and while the brave soldiers are passing, let us do our part to keep the memory alive.

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