Reunion of Honor on Iwo Jima in 2007
This page contains an iPhoto slideshow celebrating our visit to Iwo Jima on March 14, 2007. Our group of less than 300 Americans included 14 veterans who fought on Iwo Jima in 1945. They are an amazing group of Marines.
Click to see a 21 minute color video of the WWII battle to capture Iwo Jima. It is in three 7 minute segments: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. This video gives the background to better understand and appreciate my slideshow of the 2007 visit.
The slideshow lasts 3 minutes and 11 seconds. My thanks to Lee Greenwood for his stirring, patriotic music. Make sure you have your computer's sound turned on.
This slideshow is dedicated to all members of the U.S. Marine Corps, both veterans & active duty. You will see examples in the video of active duty Marines helping veterans. One Marine, surnamed Jarvis, quickly dropped on all fours to become a step stool when one veteran needed to get into a humvee and the auxiliary steps were unavailable.
It was a high honor and a special privilege to visit Iwo Jima. Mike Johnston, a friend and VP of the Fox Valley chapter, Sons of the American Revolution told me his father fought on Iwo. I took his father's dog tags to Mt. Suribachi, photographed them, and returned them. Aided by two Marines, I raised an American flag over Mount Suribachi. I brought it and some black sand from the invasion beach to Mike and his family. His son is a Marine who fought in Iraq.
Our group, organized by the Military Historical Tours, which was founded by Marine veterans, flew from Guam to Iwo Jima. The flight takes two hour in chartered B737 Continental Jets. We got up in the middle of the night and left with the morning light. We spent the whole day on Iwo Jima and left before sundown. Iwo is an active Japanese military base.
Two days before we arrived the U.S. Marines had conducted some military maneuvers. So they took our group around Iwo Jima, which means sulfur island, in many convoys of 4 or 5 humvees. We saw the Japanese caves, the Reunion of Honor, Mount Suribachi where the famous flag raising took place, the invasion beach, and returned to the air hanger.
This slideshow video starts as we approach Iwo Jima and continues in chronological order until we are gathered in the hanger ready to depart and I pay my respects to Hilario Bermanis, a Marine who lost both legs and one arm fighting in Iraq in June 2003. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and - I was touched by this - U.S. Citizenship. President and Mrs. Bush visited him in the hospital.
The slideshow (23.7Mb) takes a minute or so to load. When the background changes to black it is ready to play,
click on the small arrow on the bottom left side of the slideshow to start. If desired, click to pause or resume.