Thursday, February 24, 2011

Grace's letter to the editor

Grace had a letter to the editor published today



On Feb. 23, in the year 1945, the American flag was raised on Iwo Jima. My great-uncle Bill Rose fought on the island while still in his teens, so the battle holds special significance for me.

During the strategic battle of Iwo Jima, 6,822 American soldiers died and 19,217 were wounded. The Americans who landed on Iwo might not have fully known the seemingly insurmountable odds they were facing, but they truly understood the greater cause for which they were fighting. The world of future generations - the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the soldiers - depended on their actions.

Here are some of the amazing characteristics of the battle of Iwo Jima:

* Iwo Jima was the first place an invader's flag ever flew over Japanese home territory.

* One hundred thousand men were fighting on a tiny island one-third the size of Manhattan. For 36 days, Iwo Jima was one of the most populated 7.5 square miles on earth.

* Every Marine, everywhere on the island, was always within the range of Japanese guns.

* Historians described U.S. forces' attack against the Japanese defense as "throwing human flesh against reinforced concrete."

* There were no front lines. The Marines were above ground and the Japanese were below them underground. The Marines rarely saw a living Japanese soldier. The Japanese could see the Marines perfectly.

* The battle was ultimately won by the inch-by-inch tenacity of each soldier.

We must never forget the sacrifice and dedication of those who make our country great. May God bless America and may He bless the families of those who paid the ultimate price for our country.

GRACE MIECZKOWSKI

Richmond

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