The black volcanic sand remains as it did in the 1945 battle of Iwo Jima, but the heroism and bravery that occurred is rarely remembered nowadays.
How could it cease to amaze us what these men did for our country? But there are so many of our generation that have no idea the significance of their sacrifice.
Iron Mike Mervosh was born June 14, 1923, in Pittsburgh. At the start of World War II, at the age of 19, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was assigned to the newly formed 4th Marine Division, the only division that went directly from training into combat at that time, and the first to land on Japanese-held islands. He participated in the battles of Rio-Namor, SaiPan, The Marshall Islands, Tinian and now Iwo Jima. He was wounded twice and received numerous citations for valor and leadership. He also received two Purple Hearts and the Navy Commendation Medal for his action on Iwo Jima. As a corporal, he assumed full command of what was left of his entire company.
The significance of what Iron Mike Mervosh and men like him sacrificed for their country should never be forgotten. Current and future generations of Americans should be reminded of this sacrifice in all educational systems. They don't deserve just a page dedicated to them in a history book that's occasionally read. The sad part is many people not only don't realize that there was an Iwo Jima, but they also forget there is a war in progress right now.
Today, there are soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines deployed in Afghanistan and elsewhere risking their lives every day and fighting for the freedom that we take for granted. Anyone can put on a uniform and act tough, but it takes a very unique person to find the strength to fight for the love and respect of his or her country.
Here at TCTC, as a way of reminding ourselves of these sacrifices, we honor Iron Mike Mervosh. Each day, our Public Safety Cadets say, "God bless you, Iron Mike, wherever you are," while saluting the flag and saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Those solemn words will never cease to exist. They'll never deteriorate like the legacies of many generations ago. Those words will stay true in our hearts and stand their ground just as the men did when they knew their lives were coming to an end.
Instead of taking one day out of a year to remember all the casualties and all the men and women who are all but forgotten, we should, and in my class, we do, remember them every day.
Thank you and God bless you, Iron Mike, wherever you are.