I have been reading Flags of Our Fathers. It is an excellent book that is being made into a movie by Clint Eastwood. Official site here.The story, for the most part, tells the tale of the men who raised an American Flag at Iwo Jima during the battle for that island. The flag raising and the photograph have an interesting history. The real story in the book is of the heros that fought and died on the island.
The battle was fought largely by U.S. Marines, on the island, but it is also a maritime battle involving the Navy (some 800 ships and Seabees) (flag raiser John Bradly was a Navy Corpsman) and the Coast Guard.
After reading the book I have a whole new appreciation for those (from any military service) that fought there and any of the Battles of World War II.
The book tell us that following the Battle for Iwo Jima the United States left behind the largest Pacific cemetery for US fighting men. Nearly 6,800 died and were buried there.
Outside the cemetery someone wrote:
When you go home ; Tell them for us and say; For your tomorrow ; We gave our today…… Flags of Our Fathers p.376
If you (or your family members were there) we say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country.
I am certain that this World and our lives are different and better as a result of these sacrifices.
PS The years have taken a toll on the veterans. It is estimated that about 1,000 U.S. veterans of World War II die each day, and as their numbers shrink, reunions and commemorations mean a little bit more.