Present-day Marines return to Iwo Jima to commemorate battle





undreds of U.S. Marines landed on the remote island of Iwo Jima on Tuesday to prepare for the 65th anniversary of one of World War II's bloodiest and most iconic battles.

The Marines flew in trucks, water and food from Washington to support Wednesday's commemorations of the 1945 battle that was a turning point in the Pacific theater. It claimed 6,821 American and 21,570 Japanese lives in 36 days of intense fighting. A drill team also arrived on the island.

The commemoration was to be attended by about 1,000 people, including Marine Corps commandant Gen. James Conway, members of Japan's parliament and representatives of the Iwo Jima survivors' association.

Only about two dozen American veterans of the battle are expected to attend the "reunion of honor" ceremony because few of the survivors — now in their 80s and 90s — are able to make the trip.

It was not known if any of the fewer than 1,000 Japanese who survived the battle would be able to attend....


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