A Sacrifice Never Forgotten


Sixty-four years ago today, the Battle of Iwo Jima began. Five weeks later, 6,821 American soldiers–Marines–lay dead, with another 19,189 wounded. More than 20,000 Japanese soldiers were killed.

Think about that for a moment. Five weeks, 26,000 Americans either dead or wounded. Today, the island sits mostly unused, save for an air base used by the Japanese since we turned the island over to them in 1968.

The Battle for Iwo Jima was part of something bigger. Quite literally, between the theatres in Europe and the Pacific, the world was at stake. People here understood, and unlike today when most of our population are largely insulated from a pair of battle theatres more than halfway across the world, nearly every American was touched personally by the war, and all made sacrifices.

American flags fluttering in the breeze outside American homes were not an anomaly, not saved for national holidays and the aftermath of devastating attacks. For the most part, I think that Americans knew what they had here in their nation, and were not afraid to fight and die for it. Likewise, they knew evil when they saw it, and were similarly unafraid to fight and die in order to stop it.

We’ve come a long way since then. Regardless, say a little prayer tonight for those men who lost their lives, and for the families here at home who still sport a grainy photograph on their mantle, a memory of a hero long gone but never forgotten.

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Comments

  1. Greg Goss says:

    The day before 9/11 I was speaking with my mom and we were talking about the lack of respect the younger generation has, [had], like putting their feet up on the seats in a movie theater. I said off the cuff to my mom “the problem is that we have children from a generation that does not understand sacrifice”. In every generation before there was great sacrifice, mostly because of war.

    I was at Logan airport at the time of that conversation. Of course e all know what happened the next day.

    Unfortunately I don’t think this up and coming generation has learned anything from that day and I think we are destined to learn a very hard lesson the hard way.

    And thank you for reminding us of our true heroes.

  2. Anonymous says:

    On Gateway Pundit they are talking about everyone sending tea bags to congress on April 15th.

  3. Tennessee Red says:

    How True, My mother is 84. A few years we were having a family dinner and I encouraged my two teenage boys to talk to their grandmother about living through WWII. She recalled with magnificent clarity where she was(at the movies) and date and time that the show stopped and the theater manager announced that the war was over. She began to weep at the table, consumed with the same joy felt at the moment. My boys immediately apologized thinking they had upset their grandmother. The current group of young folks think we are living through the worst of times because their 401k’s are suffering! GROW UP! is all I can say to some of these folks…and now some are in the White House and halls of congress (oh did I say that?) Our country THIRSTS for the kind of leaders which emerged from WWII, I just pray to God we don’t have to live through another WW to find them.

    God Bless America and the Constitution of the United States,
    Tennessee Red

  4. MIDDLE CLASS GUY says:

    The problem is that academia has removed patriotism from the agenda in the schools. When the movie Pearl Harbor came out in 2001 we had a just hired a group of young people. Most were new college grads. Not one of them understood why a movie was being made about a place called Pearl Harbor. Not one of them knew who the enemy was in WWII. Not one of them had ever heard of the Death March at Bataan. The liberals have cleansed the textbooks of patriotism. You cannot teach patriotism and liberalism / Socialism at the same time. However, they were all taught that Clinton was a hero and Reagan was a monster.

    I have two personal attachments to the flag raising image. My father was at Iwo Jima and saw the Stars and Stripes flying there proudly. He also served at the battle for Okinawa. I was privileged to serve in the 5th Marine Division during 1969 when it was deactivated. The flag raisers were all from the 5th Marine Division. The 5th Marine Division only fought in one battle as a unit. That was at Iwo Jima. They were decimated at Iwo Jima and never saw battle as a unit again. A few units served under the command of other Divisions in Vietnam. On my desk were I am sitting now I have two statues of the flag raising and two vials of sand from the invasion beach at Iwo Jima.

    It makes me very sad the way the young people today grow up and know nothing of our history and nothing of the price paid for our liberty and all of the good things we enjoy as Americans

    “Uncommon valor was a common virtue”

    Admiral Chester W. Nimitz on the sands of Iwo Jima.

    Thanks, Ken

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Jeff for this post! We lost a dear friend this past Sept 11th(ironic) that was there. We always asked Jim to tell us about his experiences and thanked him for his service. He was a fine man and if he were still alive would be appalled at what is going on now in our country.

    Thanks for all you do. I come here everyday. It’s like a breath of fresh air!

    jmi

  6. Gail B says:

    My second husband had a cyst on his spine and was dropped off at a hospital while the rest of his unit went on to Hawaii. They never came home, not a one.

    My uncle fought in the War. He was one of the “Battle Babies” of the 44th Infantry. I was a child back then, but he and I wrote each other. I hate war! I used to be afraid that somebody would kill him. I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to kill my uncle, as warm and caring as he was. He came through with only a shrapnel wound to the side of his head, entering his cheek and knocking a tooth out of his mouth. Either he was lucky or he was a good shot!

    Just about everything was rationed, with stamps. Mama made silk clothing from the damaged parachutes he brought her on leave. Newsreels at the movies showed film clips from the War, and they would frighten me. They churn that old fear today when I see one.

    What frightens me today is the audacity of a usurper at the head of our government, a justice system which writes laws they have no right in doing, and a legislative branch that is so “high” on power that they are in absolute denial of what they are doing to the very people they are supposed to be working for.

    I spent the evening clicking back and forth from a list of state representatives to the fact sheet of each one to get the political party, a phone number, and Atlanta mailing address for each. A letter and or phone call to every one of them is next on my list. Georgia needs to be added to the list of states that have declared its sovereignty. I wrote Governor Perdue to ask that he not accept Stimulus money. Georgia has over $70 billion in cash reserve, according to the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and does not need to let the federal government take control of our state.

    All you military and veterans, thank you for your service to our country to keep us free and safe. I surely pray that We the People can preserve what has cost many their lives.

    Also, if the SCOTUS said that it is unconstitutional to pray in school, that’s only an opinion, isn’t it? They have no way to enforce their opinions. They are not the legislative (lawmaking) branch of government. So, if We the People say that Obama is not eligible to be POTUS, and he does not prove that he is, the only protection we have against him is through our state legislatures! I don’t want a DECISION by SCOTUS about Obama/Soetoro; I just want a court order for the proof. If it’s not forthcoming, Obama has not proved that he’s eligible. Congress should understand that We the People are demanding that proof through them.

    I know I’m on the right track; I just don’t know how far off I am! (Help me, Jeff!)

  7. BlueWater says:

    George Bush didn’t get it when he told everyone to act normally. We all should have been playing a role. My Great Uncle Joe understood that when he lied about his age to join WWII. You can read about him here:
    http://www.armyaircorps.us/Merle_Joseph_Mentel.cfm

  8. BlueWater says:

    Oops – embarrassing mistake – it was my other uncle who lied about his age – Joe’s brother Charles. Charles doesn’t have a page, yet. (You would have noticed if you read the bio and subtracted the years!)

  9. Anonymous says:

    When my children were growing up, my husband and I made a point to take them to various history museums, air shows, monuments or any events involving the military so that they could learn about the sacrifices that were made for our country. My father had served in the Army during WWII, my three brothers were in the Navy, Air Force and Marines, my son in the Navy so I have always had a deep appreciation for what our service men and women have done to preserve our freedom. I think parents need to teach children about why we have the freedoms in this country that we have and urge our educational system to include military history in our classrooms.
    Some young people do not have a clue and that is a sad commentary on our society. If they learned how much they owe to our men and women in uniform, they might grow up to be less selfish and self-centered. I wonder if we could find the same courage and patriotism in some of our youth if they were ever called on to serve their country? Thank God for all those who made the ultimate sacrifice and for all who served. Ken, you and your father have my appreciation and respect….thank you for your service.

  10. tm says:

    My Father, Korea USMC
    My Uncle,Vietnam, Green Beret Army
    My Great Uncle, POW WWII Germany, Army
    Me, out before Gulf War, USMC
    Son, Iraq 2X, Airforce still active

    Semper fi, Jeff.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Somewhere on Fox News today…too tired to remember from whom…it was noted that Obama didn’t visit the troops on his first out of country trip. George W. made that his first priority as president…instead…Obama ignores our troops and goes to Canada? Something he did even during his campaign…he is their new commander-in-chief and he can’t even visit them first thing? Says a lot for him, doesn’t it?
    Thank you to all of our troops…

  12. MaryAlice says:

    Response from State Rep Tim Comerford of New Hampshire and a party to Dr. Taiz’s law suit:

    Thanks for your kind words of support. It has become clear that the Congress is derelict in duty (not reading the porkulus bill), the federal government ignores the Constitution, and the President acquiesces to it all. The Supreme Court, in refusing to have the President prove his qualifications for office through his citizenship, is doing a great disservice to this country. If there is ANY question to the status of the person holding the highest office in the land, it must be throughly reviewed, not swept under the rug. Why would Obama be so resistant to providing all records if he has nothing to hide? Silence and lawyer threats are tantamount to a tacit admission of guilt.

    Please also read NH HCR6: Affirming States Rights Based on Jeffersonian Principles

    http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2009/HCR0006.html

    I am a co-sponsor. This measure seeks to place the federal government within its original Constitutional bounds. With the push toward socialism, and the ignorance of the courts, we need this now more than ever.

    In Liberty,

    Rep. Tim Comerford

    New Hampshire House of Representatives

    Rockingham District 9 (Epping/Fremont)

    (603) 895-2493

  13. Mairi says:

    Dear Jeff,
    This is why I LOVE your site. Many thanks for the reminder.
    Some of us are old enough to understand the sacrifices of the WWII generation. We are the generation that survived the horrors of Viet Nam. We understand that each generation has it’s “price to pay for freedom”. We are seeing the call now for the current generation. Many of our finest are very “special” ambassadors, as they carry the goodwill of all Americans to those who have never yet experienced the “Freedom” we know in America. I think, more than the military aspect of their service, the kindness and generosity they project to the people they are serving in a “foreign land” is proof positive to those they encounter that America IS Exceptional, and will remain so as long as there is an American willing to make any necessary sacrifice to insure it.
    For those of us who remain “Home” right now, that “sacrifice” is being labeled a “tin foil hat”. Almost seems unfair that on just one tiny inconsequential island, 26,000 gave so much more. Those who refuse to demand answers to the questions of Barack’s eligibility may call me anything they like. It is small sacrifice in comparison, and pales beside the sacrifice of so many other generations in this Country.
    I am flying my Flag upside down until the eligibility question is answered definitively. It will fly that way out of respect for all the preceding generations whose struggles were so much greater than the one at hand, and yet, no less important.

  14. MaryAlice says:

    Read this from http://www.defendourfreedoms.us

    This should really scare you!!

    How many 501(c)3′s do we have unfettered sending $$ to terrorist and those that would see the USA fall apart.

    http://defendourfreedoms.us/2009/02/19/charities-chicago-and-terrorism.aspx

    How unique the word verification is
    “prayin”

  15. GATOR-1 says:

    BREATH…HOPE…PRAY…

    DUTY…HONOR…COUNTRY

    SEMPER FI….

    Thanks, Jeff

  16. Anonymous says:

    It’s amazing how Obama is cutting our military budget and giving the money to ACORN instead.

    I live just outside of Baltimore. My wife said for the first time yesterday that it would be okay for me to buy a gun.

    It’s time for simple Americans to protect their own rights- because Obama’s government will not.

    ________________________________________________

    “This is our house now:” ACORN mob begins breaking into homes

    By Michelle Malkin • February 20, 2009 09:25 AM
    On Wednesday, I said prepare for lawlessness as ACORN’s civil disobedience mob steps up pressure for President Obama’s mortgage entitlement expansion.

    Well, are you ready, Baltimore? (Hat tip – Jeff Quinton) ACORN’s troops are breaking the padlocks and breaking into homes. And this is just the start. Caution: OBAMACORN at work.
    A community organization breaks into a foreclosed home in what they are calling an act of civil disobedience.
    The group wants to train homeowners facing eviction on peaceful ways they can remain in their homes.Derek Valcourt reports their actions are not without controversy. Near Patterson Park, the padlock on the door and the sign in the window tells part of Donna Hanks foreclosure story.
    “The mortgage went up $300 in one month,” said Hanks, former homeowner. She says the bank refused to modify her loan and foreclosed, kicking her out of the house in September. The community group ACORN calls Hanks a victim of predatory lending. “This is our house now,” said Louis Beverly, ACORN. And on Thursday afternoon, they literally broke the foreclosure padlock right off the front door and then broke into the house, letting Hanks back in for the first time in months.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Go see our troops, Mr. Obama.

  18. suek says:

    >>The community group ACORN calls Hanks a victim of predatory lending.>>

    More like a perpetrator of predatory borrowing…

  19. MIDDLE CLASS GUY says:

    The sacrifice has been forgotten. The evidence being people like Bill Clinton and John Kerry actually appearing on ballots for POTUS. The young people are being brainwashed by the Socialist academia. Fifty years ago Clinton and Kerry would have been tarred and feathered, not placed on a pedestal. When I grew up aiding and abetting the enemy during time of war would be considered treason. Yet these two are heroes. Patriotism is a thing of the past for most people in the country.

    Thanks, Ken

  20. Tennessee Red says:

    Dear Anonymous who lives near Baltimore,

    I reluctantly moved from the Baltimore/Annapolis area 5 years ago to Tennessee. There are things I miss about the socialist republic of MD (Bay, Annapolis,orioles, etc) But now that I am in TN, I will probably never move back north again! There are more people who think like me, act like me, think guns are not a dirty word,and think that state’s rights are a good thing. My taxes have never been lower (unlike MD who never met a tax they did not like) When will the people of MD wake up!! We had a small gathering at our home tonight where we raised a glass of wine in honor of the “sons of liberty” who used to meet in Annapolis on a regular basis. We even joked of an underground railroad leading to the south! We just have to figure out our “quilt designs!” I am not an advocate of civil unrest, but I am an advocate of “preparing for the worst and praying for the best”

    Thanks to all who posted here,

    From the Great State of Tennessee,
    Tennessee Red

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