On February 23, 1945, seventy-five years to the date, six Marines raised the American Flag upon the top of Mount Suribachi. The blood of thousands of Marines was spilled upon the sand and leaked into the seas during the thirty-six day battle for Iwo Jima. Over 19,000 Marines lost their lives in effort to secure the island of Iwo Jima for the U.S. Military.

These brave Marines faced adversity as never seen before. Odds that seemed insurmountable. Hope that would rise and fall as a Phoenix. They witnesses there brothers lives end before them. Watching the life in their brother’s eyes fade-away. Witnessing the last breath from their lungs. These Marines witnessed the hell of war and its triumphs at the same time. This thirty-six day campaign of Iwo Jima was ruthless and daunting to the soul and spirit of our Marines. The sacrifice for this country shall never be forgotten nor shall the blood that was laid upon Iwo Jima.

On that fateful day seventy-five years ago, Marines tasted the beauty of victory by planting the American Flag proudly upon Mount Suribachi. Those Marines upon Iwo Jima fought with a metal and tenacity of warriors before them. The planting of the flag upon Mount Suribachi both times inspired and movtiated the Marines upon Iwo Jima. Letting them know that taking Suribachi was possible and could be taken from the Japanese. It took a mentality courage, grit, and honor for their fallen brothers to accomplish the mission.

The raising of the flag upon Mount Suribachi that was photographed by Joe Rosenthal of the Associated Press was so powerful, iconic, and stirring to the American spirit it is one of the most important photographs taking during World War II. The picture embodies the ethos and spirit of the Marine Corps that in 1947, it was commissioned to be design of the Marine Corps War Memorial. The Marine Corps War Memorial was finished in 1954 and dedicated to all the Marines who had lost their lives defending this great nation since 1775.

To all my brothers whose blood has spilled for this nation and to my brothers who paid the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation, I personally thank you. It is because of your courage, honor, valor, and integrity that we stand here today. With the ability to live and pursue the lives that we wish. To be a bastion of hope and a light to this world. It is because of your sacrifice that this is possible. No, words can express my honor and love for you. The tears that well in my eyes do no justice for my passion for my fellow Marines.

To all Marines who have sacrificed your life for this nation I thank you. We all should take a moment to honor these men and the sacrifices their families have given for our freedom. America these are your Marines, honor them.

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