70 years ago 1944 the Marines captured Saipan and Peleliu. My father was there. Last year we went to a commencement at the University of Virginia. The guest speaker was Senator Jim Webb who spoke about his experiences in the Marines and many other topics but then he asked that crowd of maybe 20,000 “those who served our country should stand up and be recognized.”
Not too many of us got up and of course most were middle aged or old. It was however a beautiful moment and reminded me not of my own limited military experience as much as the sacrifice of life that those Second World War combatants had made for their country.
On Saipan 2,949 Americans died, among them the son of my father’s best friend who he buried on the island, 10,464 were injured and virtually all of the 30,000 japanese troops were either killed or were the few that were captured.
Semper Fi