Feb. 23, 2015. --
Honoring and remembering the
Marines that came before has always been a time honored tradition of the United
States Marine Corps. Usually the tales of warriors’ pasts are learned through
classes and literature. Last week, Marines from Marine Barracks Washington,
D.C., were afforded the opportunity to meet Marines who served on Iwo Jima.
Thursday, Feb. 19th marked
the 70th anniversary of the landing on the Island of Iwo Jima.
Veterans and members of the Iwo Jima Association remembered the anniversary in
Crawford Hall followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the Marine Corps War
Memorial in Arlington, Va. The day prior, Marines from the Barracks met with the veterans during an
Ice Breaker Social, or meet and greet, at
their hotel in Arlington. The week concluded on Saturday after a morning
lecture series in which Barracks’ Marines listed to Iwo Jima survivors and
historical experts speak about the different aspects of the battle. Later that
night Marines donned their Dress Blues and dined with the Iwo Jima veterans.
The social was a blend of past and
present in which Marines who currently serve looked in awe at those who fought
the most memorial battle of the Marine Corps. The Marines all talked for
several hours about their most memorable experiences, reasons why they joined
the Marine Corps, and their unit’s that they landed on the island with.
That Saturday, Marines came to the
lecture series on their day off to hear various speakers explain the significance
of Iwo Jima, the events leading up to the battle, the role of other services
and the tactical facets that made the battle so costly.
Cpl. Micah Rissler, the armory
chief for the Barracks, said that the lectures were “eye opening” and “painted a
vivid picture of the battle and the sacrifice they made in the line of duty.”
The Marines from the Barracks retuned
later that night and continued to listen to the Iwo Jima veterans reminisce
about their time active duty.
“It was a great experience to interact
with some of our Nation’s finest Marines and Sailors,” said Rissler, “Even with
grey hair and thick glasses these fine men are an enduring testament of what
makes this country the greatest on earth.”