Raising The Flag

Riding the transports onto the beach proved to be exhausting in and of itself…


The see-bee trying to steer his way in while avoiding the many obstacles and mines Rommel’s crews laid out for us. It was a rough journey, short but treacherous, no swan like paddle boats in these waters.


Guys were hanging over the sides puking their brains out like it was Saturday night at a college fraternity bash.

The fear was surely enough to make one sick but add to it the rough seas, mortar shells landing beside you, and machine gun fire raining into the boats well, it was certainly less than pleasant let me tell you.

A Tremendous explosion right next to us and the Higgins boat filled with men flipped into the air. What wasn’t in pieces, crashed back into the sea, bodies disassembled, blood and brains, darkness and the stench of burning flesh.


The carnage and destruction was unbelievable!


It wasn’t enough to stop us though, as long as you were still breathing and could see out of at least one eye, you were good to go. imageAnd where did you go? Why, straight ahead onto the beach, which now was flowing red, debris from destroyed landing craft, tanks, trucks, and weapons without their owners to carry them any longer.

Not a good day so far.  

But for as many of us who were blown out of the water and now floated face down, there was an equal number lying dead on the beaches. Many crying out in agony and despair, crying “mama, mama, I don’t want to die” and then their voices were silenced… forever.

Oh yes, don’t you believe for one second that pleading for their mothers with their dying breath made them anything less than a hero each one of them. Some of them got extra shots of morphine from the coresmen knowing they were too far gone. When you see a man with his guts lying next to him well, you could pretty much assume he wasn’t going to walk off that beach.


Even with all those men that were lost before even reaching the beach to confront their enemy, there were hundreds and thousands of us who were more determined than ever to seek their killers on this foreign soil and avenge their deaths!

An inner rage became a fire in your gut that fueled the engine of destruction brewing in your soul and became an instrument of action that knew no fear. A singleness of purpose to pierce the fortified enemy before us and make them no more than a passing horror, like a nightmare gone terribly wrong.

This fire and badge of courage is what drove some of us to discard the cloak of fear and take up the mantle and battle cry of freedom that would no longer be quenched by bullets alone!

This is is the stuff that heros are made of!

You want to know what helped to drive us? I’ll tell you what. The vision we had of taking the Japanese flag that sat upon this island mountain, and replacing it with our flag. That’s right, to see the Stars and Sripes, the red, white and blue of the American flag anchored high above this mountain fortress and waving for all to see. A symbol of what so many brave men faught and died for on this beach today.

And that’s just what we did on this day so long ago.


~ by Vinnie on May 26, 2015.

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