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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Iwo Jima vets reunite for 68th anniversary

By Cpl. Trevon S. Peracca | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | March 25, 2013

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More than 50 Iwo Jima veteran’s gather for a group photo during the 68th annual Battle of Iwo Jima Commemoration ceremony at the Pacific Views Event Center here March 23.

More than 50 Iwo Jima veteran’s gather for a group photo during the 68th annual Battle of Iwo Jima Commemoration ceremony at the Pacific Views Event Center here March 23. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Matthew Howe)


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Hundreds gathered to honor those who served in World War II during the 68th annual Battle of Iwo Jima Commemoration ceremony held at the Pacific Views Event Center here March 23. The event featured a memorial service 21-Gun Salute, followed by the playing of “Echo Taps”. After the memorial service the ceremony continued with a reenactment of the historic flag-raising conducted by the United States Marine Corps Historical Company.

Hundreds gathered to honor those who served in World War II during the 68th annual Battle of Iwo Jima Commemoration ceremony held at the Pacific Views Event Center here March 23. The event featured a memorial service 21-Gun Salute, followed by the playing of “Echo Taps”. After the memorial service the ceremony continued with a reenactment of the historic flag-raising conducted by the United States Marine Corps Historical Company. (Photo by Cpl. Trevon S. Peracca)


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Brig. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese gives a speech during the 68th annual Battle of Iwo Jima Commemoration ceremony at the Pacific Views Event Center here March 23. Coglianese is the base commanding general and regional authority for five Marine Corps installations in the southwestern United States.

Brig. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese gives a speech during the 68th annual Battle of Iwo Jima Commemoration ceremony at the Pacific Views Event Center here March 23. Coglianese is the base commanding general and regional authority for five Marine Corps installations in the southwestern United States. (Photo by Cpl. Trevon S. Peracca)


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Hundreds gathered to honor those who served in World War II during the 68th annual Battle of Iwo Jima Commemoration ceremony held at the Pacific Views Event Center here March 23.  The event featured a memorial service 21-Gun Salute, followed by the playing of “Echo Taps”. After the memorial service the ceremony continued with a reenactment of the historic flag-raising conducted by the United States Marine Corps Historical Company.

Hundreds gathered to honor those who served in World War II during the 68th annual Battle of Iwo Jima Commemoration ceremony held at the Pacific Views Event Center here March 23. The event featured a memorial service 21-Gun Salute, followed by the playing of “Echo Taps”. After the memorial service the ceremony continued with a reenactment of the historic flag-raising conducted by the United States Marine Corps Historical Company. (Photo by Cpl. Trevon S. Peracca)


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Cpl. Justin Gorham plays taps during the 68th annual Battle of Iwo Jima Commemoration ceremony at the Pacific Views Event Center here March 23. Gorham is a trumpet player for the 1st Marine Division Band.

Cpl. Justin Gorham plays taps during the 68th annual Battle of Iwo Jima Commemoration ceremony at the Pacific Views Event Center here March 23. Gorham is a trumpet player for the 1st Marine Division Band. (Photo by Cpl. Trevon S. Peracca)


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A 1919 .30-caliber, air-cooled light machine gun is on displayed for attendance during the 68th annual Battle of Iwo Jima Commemoration ceremony at the Pacific Views Event Center here March 23.

A 1919 .30-caliber, air-cooled light machine gun is on displayed for attendance during the 68th annual Battle of Iwo Jima Commemoration ceremony at the Pacific Views Event Center here March 23. (Photo by Cpl. Trevon S. Peracca)


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A commemorative wreath is laid for the 68th annual Battle of Iwo Jima Commemoration ceremony held at the Pacific Views Event Center here March 23.

A commemorative wreath is laid for the 68th annual Battle of Iwo Jima Commemoration ceremony held at the Pacific Views Event Center here March 23. (Photo by Cpl. Trevon S. Peracca)


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CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --

Cannons roared and trumpets blared as the sun set on Camp Pendleton where hundreds gathered to honor those who served in World War II during the 68th annual Battle of Iwo Jima Commemoration ceremony, held at the Pacific Views Event Center here March 23.

A memorial service was held that featured 21-Gun Salute, and the playing of “Echo Taps”. After the memorial service the ceremony continued with a reenactment of the historic flag-raising conducted by the United States Marine Corps Historical Company.

“Every Marine ties their heritage to the Battle of Iwo Jima,” said Brig. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese, the base commanding general and regional authority for five Marine Corps installations in the southwestern United States. “Regardless of how old or young, we stand on their shoulders. It is humbling to be in there presence.”

The Battle of Iwo Jima was a significant conflict where the American armed forces battled and captured the island from the Japanese Empire. The American forces mission was to seize the entire island, because its three airfields presented a tactical advantage for orchestrating attacks on the Japanese mainland. This 36-day battle included some of the fiercest fighting in the Pacific during WWII.

“During the battle every Marine to the left and to the right had a look of determination in their face,” said Bill Behana, a former Master Sergeant and Iwo Jima veteran. “We all knew that no matter what happened we were not going to give up until we had captured that island and raised our flag.”

The evening closed with a dinner banquet and jazz band in the Del Mar room here.

Bill Call, an Iwo Jima veteran from Portland, Ore., said he was thrilled to this prestigious event, surrounded by fellow brethren, and he is excited to return for next year’s commemoration.

Please contact Trevon.Peracca@usmc.mil.

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2 Comments


  • JUAN M. MARTIN MORENO 1 years 206 days ago
    I´M A SPANISH HISTORY STUDENT IN SPECIAL ALL ABOUT WWII IN THE PACIFIC CONFLICT BETWEEN UNITED STATES AND JAPAN. I WANT TO CONGRATULATE TO THE ALIVE VETERANS OF IWO JIMA ISLAND AND ALSO I WANT TO SAY: HONOR AND GLORY TO ALL THE AMERICAN FORCES AND IN SPECIAL TO THE MARINES CORPS. DIED IN THIS TERRIBLE BATTLE IN VULCANO ISLANDS.GOD SAVE AND BLESS TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
  • anonymous 1 years 207 days ago
    I'm happy to see you're succeeding.
    If I had one more thing to tell anybody in the military, embrace every moment of life you have.
    Moments go away so fast, and I would hate to hear of anybody not realizing what an honor it is.
    Use this time wisely Peracca, wisdom is what helps you handle situations maturely, and with the most integrity possible. Be kind, and thoughtful.
    Good luck.

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