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In honor of those that gave so much, I thought it fitting to post a tribute to all those who have and are serving our country. I encourage each and everyone of you, regardless of age to visit the Iwo Jima Monument in Washington DC. It's not the easiest of the monuments to find; but well worth the effort.
February 1945, the worst battle in Marine Corp history took place in Iwo Jima, just 660 miles south of Tokyo. The 6 men news photographer, Joe Rosenthal caught on film inspired Felix De Welden to capture so well on this monument are: Ira Hayes (1923-1955), Franklin Sousley (1925-1945), John Bradley (1923-1994), Michael Strank (1919-1945), Rene Gagnon (1926-1979), Harlon Block (1924-1945). The bombardment lasted 72 hours and 7,000 Marines perished. Note the 3 names bolded perished on Iwo Jima.
Though this monument/memorial depicts the arduous and tortuous climb the Marines made up Mount Suribachi, it is in honor of and memory of all Marine Dead who served, as well as their comrades who fell fighting at their side. The American Flag flies here 24 hours a day. President Dwight Eisenhower dedicated the monument on November 10, 1951. It's difficult to photograph just the monument (I tried multiple times), there are so many visitors who wish to stand and have the picture taken along side it. The grounds around the monument are beautiful, a wonderful place for a picnic. We saw many picnicking the day we were there. We saw Veterans with tears in their eyes, we saw Boy Scouts; trying to understand.
Being there is very powerful.
On this upcoming Thanksgiving Day of 2009, let us honor and remember and be thankful for all who have served; as well as all those who currently serve.