Sixty-five years ago today, the Battle of Iwo Jima raged.  6,821 American servicemen gave their lives and over 19,000 were wounded in defense of freedom on Mount Suribachi in 1945.  No other single action by U.S. Marines has suffered such great losses in their 200+ year history.  The iconic photograph of six Marines raising the American flag atop a hilltop, one of the most recognizable wartime photographs ever taken, was taken during that battle. 

One of the many heroes during those horrific days was young Corporal Tony Stein.  Determined to destroy as many of the hunkered down enemy as possible, Corporal Stein singlehandedly killed 20 of them while bombs and shells exploded around him on all sides.   Finally he ran out of ammunition.  Despite that, he courageously ran back to the beach 8 times to retrieve more ammunition and each time he did, he assisted a wounded Marine safely back.   

There are young service men and women defending our freedom today in Iraq and Afghanistan, risking their lives so that we can continue to live in the “land of the free”.  No words can ever completely express our gratitude for their sacrifice and yet, words are all we have to show our thanks.   God bless each and every man and woman who has fought or is fighting for the United States of America!


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