Can you recall without looking at your calendar?
65 years ago, my father - then a 19 year old US Marine, had landed on the black volcanic shores of Iwo Jima on February 19th, 1945. Fierce fighting took place above and below ground on that island until March 26th.
On or about March 26th, yes, 65 years ago today, Jerry made his way to the beach to await a landing craft to board, to take him back to the safety of a ship, and then back to Hawaii. Solid food, shower, clean clothes for the first time since Feb 19th. Mission accomplished.
|From Jerry's Story|
Jerry is the one circled.
Jerry talked about his time in the Pacific at the VA Home in Bristol, RI on Thursday. He spoke without notes. He spoke deliberately and in detail. I complimented him on it after and he said "I left out a few stories". One wouldn't have noticed.
You can view that talk on Jerry's Story here.
And when you think back on what you were doing on February 19th.
Okay, you can go look at your calendar.
And when you reflect on all that you did in the time since then, think of the men who fought on Iwo Jima (in particular as this is their time for remembering) and those who fought elsewhere, and thank a veteran for their service.
The one line I was expecting to hear from Dad at the VA Home, I actually was surprised to not hear Thursday. Whenever he has talked about his time there, and until recently - this was not often, he would usually close with: "The real heroes did not come home."