"Throughout the past months, we have trained unknown hours for this," yelled the Sergeant. And he was true, we spent the good part of a year working on this invasion. "Today will be the day history is made. No man or woman will ever forgot what happens today on this beach." Now it was time to get to work. The day was February 19th, 1945. As we head towards the island, we could see the large dead volcano, Mt. Suribachi. We were about to become the first invaders on Japanese land in over 10,000 years. As our troop carrier brought us toward the island we could help but feel confident, through out the previous days the naval ships and air crafts had bombard the island, thousands of bombs had been dropped on the island, we thought it would be dead silent. As the first wave reached the island we just started unloading all of our gear. The second wave came in and the same happen. With no fire coming our way we started to think there really was no one on the island. As the third wave appeared, we started our march forward into the unknown. As we started our march this erie feeling came over me. Just as that feeling came to me, the sound of gun fire became deafening. We were ambushed by the japanese military. As the day went on we inched our way forward. This battle was a battle of feet and inches. By the end of the first day we had over 2400 casualties. During the night we made our foxholes. Expecting a banzai attacks, we had shifts. Throughout the night we had men go MIA, unknown at the time, the Japanese had miles of underground tunnels, some of which were right under our foxholes. The second day was one of the slowest days of movement, the battle was intense. Marine after Marine dying, many times right next to me, I started wondering when it would be my turn. On the third day me and my patrol were sent up the side of Mt. Suribachi. As we reached the top, we took out our American flag at set it up. The sight of this brought many cheers and many horns blasting from our ships. The pride was ours! Eventually this flag was taken down for a replacement flag, the flag that would become nationally known. As the day went on we had a sense of pride unknown to us, yet this was a downfall. That day that the flag had risen was the last day for me on the island. As we started our assault on the body of the beast, I felt like I could do anything. All of a sudden I got hit, my left leg had been blown out from beneath me. I started yelling "CORP MAN!!! CORP MAN!!!" When the corp man arrived I was bleeding at a very high rate, I could feel the hand of death on me. He was attending my wound as he was gunned down. As he was hit another corp man came my way, taking with him a stretcher and two of my fellow Marines. They loaded me on the stretcher and started carrying me back to the beach. As i was being carried out, one of the Marines was caught by an enemy sniper, one shot straight through his head. Being carried by one man i was brought safely back to shore. Unknown to me this was my destiny, lying on the beach, I felt this chill come over my body. As I waited there for someone to help me, I started to fade into the darkness. At 1632 (4:32pm) on February 21st, 1945, I breathed my last breath. My last words were recorded as "Come hell on earth, no force will stop America."
Price of Freedom
July 29, 2010