Come meet an Iwo Jima Marine!

Dianne Edmondson

Iwo Jima. That name brings to mind the famous picture of American troops raising our flag during World War II. That victory and that photo have come to symbolize America’s great fighting forces and spirit and you’ll be able to meet one of the Marines who actually was on Iwo Jima at the Support Our Troops meeting on Monday, October 8 in the clubhouse. Support Our Troops will present this very special program helping us recall one of the most famous victories in our military’s history featuring one of the Marines who helped capture that small island. Donald Graves’ fascinating story will detail the life of a young patriot from teenager through his military service which includes being a part of the assault force that captured Iwo Jima.

Tickets for his presentation are free but are required to insure adequate seating. SOT members will be given first chance for tickets (two per member) at the Monday, September 10 SOT meeting in the Lone Star Room in the Clubhouse. The remaining tickets will be available to any Robson resident from 9:00-11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 12 through Friday, September 21 from 9:00-11:00 a.m. in the Clubhouse hallway.

According to Life Magazine, Iwo Jima “is but a speck of an island 760 miles south of Tokyo, a volcanic pile that blocked the Allies’ march toward Japan. The Americans needed Iwo Jima as an air base, but the Japanese had dug in. U.S. troops landed on February 19, 1945, beginning a month of fighting that claimed the lives of 6,800 Americans and 21,000 Japanese. On the fifth day of battle, the Marines captured Mount Suribachi. An American flag was quickly raised, but a commander called for a bigger one, in part to inspire his men and demoralize his opponents. Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal lugged his bulky Speed Graphic camera to the top and, as five Marines and a Navy corpsman prepared to hoist the Stars and Stripes, Rosenthal stepped back to get a better frame—and almost missed the shot. “The sky was overcast,” he later wrote of what has become one of the most recognizable images of war. “The wind just whipped the flag out over the heads of the group, and at their feet the disrupted terrain and the broken stalks of the shrubbery exemplified the turbulence of war.”

We hope that you will join with us in welcoming Don Graves!