IWO TO, Japan – The Government of Japan and the U.S. Marine Corps conducted a Reunion of Honor ceremony to commemorate the Battle of Iwo Jima March 14. The event took place on Iwo To, formerly known as Iwo Jima, and included U.S. and Japanese veterans and their families, dignitaries and leaders from both nations, distinguished guests and Marines and sailors from III Marine Expeditionary Force.
The 67th Commemoration of the Battle of Iwo Jima provided for a humbling experience. Leaders and representatives of both sides stepped forward to offer remarks and pay their respects to the sacrifices made during the battle. Each individual who offered remarks remembered the past, but also looked to the future and the continued alliance of our two nations.
Lt. Gen. Kenneth J. Glueck Jr., III MEF commanding general, offered remarks echoing the theme of the commemoration ceremony. “Let us reaffirm here today that the loss of so many was not in vain. We gather here today as men and women representing two great nations. Two nations, who after this battle, came together to build an alliance, an alliance which some consider to be the most successful in the history of mankind,” said Glueck.
Much has changed in the decades since the Battle of Iwo Jima and the conflicts in the Pacific theater during World War II. Now, the United States and Japan are partners, committed to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. The Reunion of Honor ceremony took place on hallowed ground where the two allies, who were once at war, now stood side by side in peace instead of conflict.
Ichiro Aisawa, a member of the House of Representatives of Japan and the President of Parliamentary League for Iwo Jima stated, “Japan and the U.S., which fought against each other 67 years ago, are now working hand-in-hand to achieve international peace and stability. I believe such cooperation consoles the souls of the soldiers from both countries who fought and died on this island.”
“The good news is that despite the fact that we were bitter enemies 67 years ago, in the intervening years we have become friends and our bilateral relationship is one of the strongest in the world,” said retired Lt. Gen. Lawrence F. Snowden, chairman of the Iwo Jima Association of America.
A video of the ceremony is available in a three part series on the III MEF/MCIPAC facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/3mef.mcipac.
|Date Posted:||03.14.2012 10:20|
|Location:||IWO TO , AICHI, JP|
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