Remember Iwo Jima
Today is the 63rd anniversary of when U.S. Marines planted their flag on Mount Suribachi on the island of Iwa Jima. The five Marines and a Navy corpsman were understandably immortalized in photography and in bronze. Three of the Marines raising the flag were killed before the island was finally taken.
Someone who fought in that key battle would today be at least 81 years old, assuming he was 18 at the time. That means that many of the veterans of the battle of Iwo Jima are now gone.
Many are now in nursing and care homes. While some of them might have difficulty remembering what they did a few minutes before, no doubt caused by the trauma they experienced more than six decades ago, they probably still vividly remember the sacrifices they made as well as those of their brothers who returned so profoundly changed, or did not return.
We owe our liberty and freedom to those valiant Marines, soldiers, and sailors who faced a vicious and determined enemy. Their courage and valor is legendary. Our gratefulness should be equally as profound.
So the next time you go into a nursing home, the next time you see an elderly gentleman wearing a Legionnaire’s or VFW uniform on Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day, thank him. And if he’s willing, ask him if he would like to talk about what happened. And then listen.
Listening should not be a problem, though, because what our veterans of World War II did for us is legend. They have earned a place in that hallowed bronze shrine immortalizing that fateful battle so many years ago.
Indeed, they all carried that flag. They still carry that flag. And they shall continue to carry that flag throughout eternity.
God has a special place for such heroes because, as we all know, they have already spent their time in hell.