The United States Marine Corps landed on the island of Iwo Jima on February 19th, 1945.
After a 36-day battle, U.S. Marines eventually captured the island from the Imperial Japanese Army.
The American Invasion was part of a strategic plan to gain access to Japanese-controlled airfields, which went on to shape the outcome of WWII.
Today, we honor those who fought that battle, because without them, the course of history would look a lot different.
“It’s a great day not only in American history but Marine history, 74 years ago today brave men from the Marine Corps and other branches of service took the island of Iwo Jima which was an incredibly important battle in the history of WWII, and it’s just amazing that these men, what they did that day and that they’re still here to pass on their legacy,” Superintendent of the Soldiers Home in Holyoke, Bennett Walsh said.
Governor Baker took time to thank each of the men who served in the battle of Iwo Jima. His touching tribute showed just how much the Commonwealth values its veterans.
“The only reason we get a chance to play in these games is because men and women died to make it possible for this democracy to thrive,” Governor Baker said.
Also in attendance at Tuesday’s ceremony were some of Massachusetts’ Gold Star Families; spouses and children of troops killed in the Iraq war.
Lawmakers and service members cheered them for the sacrifices they’ve made in the name of Freedom.
Former House Speaker Thomas McGee, a Marine who fought on Iwo Jima, was presented with this year’s Public Servant Award.