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Camp Pendleton raises awareness for Iwo Jima veterans

By Lance Cpl. Asia J. Sorenson | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | May 23, 2015


Camp Pendleton and Iwo Jima Monument West hosted an event to raise awareness for Iwo Jima veterans at the Pacific Views Event Center here, May 22.

The event was held in honor of nine veterans of the Battle of Iwo Jima who were invited to share stories of the historic amphibious landing, the raising of the flag atop Mount Suribachi and the days that followed.

“We have a duty as civilians to continue to support the Marines and other Armed Forces,” said Laura Dietz, founder, Iwo Jima Monument West.

The organization also hoped to raise awareness of their current efforts to establish a new Iwo Jima memorial at Camp Pendleton.

“This is a story that needs to be shared and repeated for hundreds of years to come,” said Mike Naylor, retired Marine colonel and an advisor to Iwo Jima Monument West. “And it is our job today to be a part of making that happening.”

After their stories where recorded for historical documentation, the veterans were invited to view a static display of World War II memorabilia and were presented with a re-enactment of the flag raising.

Iwo Jima Monument West is a non-profit organization that hopes to build a memorial site aboard Camp Pendleton to honor those who fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima.

The memorial will be centered around an original sculpture of the Flag Raising on Mt. Suribachi, created by Felix de Weldon on Feb. 23, 1945.

“It was my platoon, my regiment, that put the flag up, so personally I’d feel good,” said James Scotella, when asked how having an the monument placed on Camp Pendleton would make him feel. “But I think the whole Corps would benefit from it.”