CAMP PENDLETON, California -- Seventy-one years ago today, thousands of service members began the assault on Iwo Jima. Today, we honor and remember those who gave their lives in the battle. The Iwo Jima Commemorative Committee hosted a tour of Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar for veterans of World War II and the Korean War, culminating in a memorial service and reenactment of the historic flag raising that marked the end of the battle. Marine Corps Installations West interviewed two Iwo Jima veterans during the event:
MSgt. (Ret.) William A. Behana, U.S. Marine Corps
GySgt. (Ret.) Damaso Sutis, U.S. Marine Corps
USMC SSgt. (Ret.) Daniel Zepeda, Jr., Treasurer of the Iwo Jima Commemorative Committee, recounted his experiences in the Corps, his father's World War II service, and the importance of remembering veterans of the battle of Iwo Jima:
Over seven decades after the end of World War II, the United States and Japan stand together in an enduring friendship and steadfast alliance. The relationship between formerly bitter adversaries stands as a model of the power of reconciliation.