Theodore's World: IWO JIMA: Not Easy Then, Not Easy Now

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May 28, 2010

IWO JIMA: Not Easy Then, Not Easy Now

IWO JIMA: Not Easy Then, Not Easy Now

Marines race across the beach to experience a fraction of the experiences the Marines who fought for Iwo Jima might have had on D-Day of the Battle . The major difference between today and 1945 is that today no one is shooting at them!


The guide for this trip asked the Marines to rush this dune to get an idea of what the Marines who took Iwo Jima faced upon landing. Every step you take up, you slide down and into the dune. You have to work hard to get to the top. Imagine doing that with 100 lbs on your back while being shot at and artillery raining down on you.


Mount Suribachi overlooks the landing beaches. During the battle for Iwo Jima , Mt Suribachi gave the defending Japanese forces a perfect vantage point from which to direct lethal artillery fire on the Marines' hastily dug positions on the beach.


Futatsune Beach , today known by visiting Marines as Invasion Beach , is where on 19 February,1945, the Marines landed on D-Day of the invasion of Iwo Jima . This picture was taken from near the top of Mt. Suribachi . Forward Observer's dream!


A heavy machine gun, possibly a Japanese Type 92 Heavy Machine Gun, lies abandoned in a bunker overlooking the landing beaches. There are still dozens of these bunkers all over the island. Most of them were destroyed during the battle. This pillbox still bore the scars of the fighting. It was pockmarked with bullet holes and the inside was blackened. I imagine a flame thrower was used to clear that pillbox.


This monument was erected on the spot where Franklin Sousley, Harlon Block, Michael Strank, John Bradley, Rene Gagnon, and Ira Hayes raised the American flag 4 days into the battle for Iwo Jima . Iwo Jima is like Mecca for the Marines. Visiting Marines leave personal mementos behind during their 'pilgrimages'. The Eagle, Globe and Anchors on the left and right side of the monument are completely covered in dog tags left by visiting Marines and service men to honor the 6,821 killed. Remember what they did.


"There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag"... Theodore Roosevelt 1907
"The privacy & dignity of our citizens (are) being whittled away by sometimes imperceptible steps. Taken individually, each step may be of little consequence but, when viewed as a whole, there begins to emerge a society quite unlike any we have seen - a society in which government may intrude into the secret regions of a (person's) life. " ~WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS


Wild Thing's comment.........

Fantastic photos and write up.

Thank you all for your bravery and uncommon valor and God bless all those who have served and are serving now.

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at May 28, 2010 07:40 AM


Watching the movie Saving Private Ryan with its beach landing leaves me speechless. The courage those men had, knowing that as soon as that ramp was dropped, hundreds of bullets would be coming at them.

Posted by: BobF at May 28, 2010 11:57 AM

BobF.,thanks for sharing that. It was very well done and I felt the same way. I am glad that they showed how much our troops went through,so many don't want to know.
Thank you Bob for your service to our country.

Posted by: Wild Thing at May 29, 2010 04:40 AM