Please take a moment to remember all the heroes who lost their lives fighting for our freedoms during the Battle of Iwo Jima, which began exactly 68 years ago today. According to the Wikipedia recap:
“The Battle of Iwo Jima (February 19–March 26, 1945), was a major battle in which the United States Armed Forces fought for and captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Japanese Empire. The American invasion had the goal of capturing the entire island, including its three airfields, to provide a staging area for attacks on the Japanese main islands. This month-long battle included some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting of the War in the Pacific of WWII.
The Imperial Japanese Army positions on the island were heavily fortified, with a dense network of bunkers, hidden artillery positions, and 11 miles of underground tunnels. The Americans on the ground were aided by extensive naval artillery and the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aviators had complete air supremacy over Iwo Jima from the beginning of the battle.
American sea power and air power were capable of delivering vast amounts of fire onto the Japanese troops. This invasion was the first American attack on Japanese home territory, and the Japanese soldiers and Marines defended their positions tenaciously with no thought of surrender. The Japanese general in charge never considered surrendering to the Americans to save his men, and he and his officers had vowed to fight to the death, no matter how hopeless their battle was.
Iwo Jima was also the only battle by the U.S. Marine Corps in which the overall American casualties (killed and wounded) exceeded those of the Japanese, although Japanese combat deaths were thrice those of the Americans. Of the 22,000 Japanese soldiers on Iwo Jima at the beginning of the battle, only 216 of these were taken prisoner. Some of these were captured because they had been knocked unconscious or otherwise disabled. The rest were killed or missing and presumed dead.”