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Flags Of Our Fathers - Preface

Flags Of Our Fathers (Illustration) Nonfiction Works Film World War II American History Famous Historical Events Geography Native-Americans and First Peoples

Photo of Mt. Suribachi - on the island of Iwo Jima - by Phan Lee McCaskill, U.S. Navy.  Photo taken on September 28, 2001.  Online, courtesy U.S. Navy.

When you go home
Tell them for us and say
For your tomorrow
We gave our today

 

An armada of American ships steamed toward the Japanese island of Iwo Jima in February of 1945. Aboard the vessels were 70,647 United States Marines.

Boys mostly, averaging in age between seventeen and nineteen, they had trained about one year for the coming battle. They would make an amphibious landing on the black beaches of this tiny Pacific island, 660 miles south of Tokyo.

Most noticeable, as this speck of land came into view, was a “mountain” on its southern end. Rising more than five hundred feet, Mt. Suribachi is a dormant volcano. Inside it, as the American ships approached, were dug-in, heavily armed Japanese defenders.

Allied forces had already experienced deadly encounters with Japanese soldiers on other Pacific islands. But Iwo Jima would be significantly worse.

This piece of windswept land, totaling eight square miles, was special to the Emperor and his people. This island was actually part of Japan. And no foreign invader had set foot on Japanese soil in thousands of years.

Iwo Jima, as the Marines soon learned, would be a fight to the death

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5124stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 01, 2006

Updated Last Revision: Nov 09, 2016


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