SAVE THIS MEMORIAL
Subject:Save the Marine Corps Memorial
Hello-- The Air Force is still trying to erect their memorial next to the Marine Corps Memorial.
Next week there will be a public hearing.
Letters are being solicited to show support for keeping the MCM as it is and moving the Air Force Memorial to another site.
You can see how intrusive the Air Force Memorial would be by going to:
If you'd like to express an opinion, please do it today.
Address it to Mr. Parsons (see below) and mail it to:
Friends of Iwo Jima Park.
1304 North Meade St. #11
Arlington, Va 22209
Below is my letter.
John G. Parsons
Associate for Lands, Resources, and Planning
National Capital Region, National Park Service
1100 Ohio Drive, SW - Room 220
Washington, DC 20242
Dear Mr. Parsons:
On March 1, 1945 Mike Strank's body was ripped apart by shrapnel on Iwo Jima.
His mother's hair turned from brunette to white within two months of learning of her son's death.
Mike died at the age of 24 to secure Iwo Jima for the Air Force.
Later that same day Harlon Block was struck by shrapnel.
His body was torn open from his waist to his neck.
He died holding his intestines in his hands.
Harlon died at the age of 22 so Air Force pilots would not be harassed by Iwo Jima based Japanese forces.
On March 21, 1945 Franklin Sousley was shot in the back and died. His last words were "I'm OK."
When word reached his mother that Franklin was dead,
"You could hear her screaming clear across the fields at the neighbor's farm."
Franklin's life ended at the age of 19 so Air Force pilots would have Iwo Jima as an emergency landing base after their bomb runs on Japan.
Ira Hayes walked off Iwo Jima unwounded, but drank himself to death within ten years.
He was tortured by images of his "good buddies" who died on that island of agony.
Ira suffered so that Air Force pilots would live.
Rene Gagnon picked up an uncontrollable tic in his face as a result of fighting on Iwo Jima. His nervous system was shot after witnessing the horror on that island where almost 7000 Marines died.
Rene endured all this for the safety of Air Force pilots.
My father, John Bradley, was a Medic on Iwo Jima.
At the age of 22 he looked into hundreds of young boys' terror filled faces as they writhed with pain, their blood flowing into the sands of Iwo Jima.
Almost 17,000 Marines were injured so that Air Force pilots would be safe.
As you know, it is commonly estimated that the taking of Iwo Jima saved 25,000 Air Force lives.
The six boys on the Marine Corps Memorial and their buddies gave their all for the Air Force.
Please use your influence and help relocate the Air Force Memorial away from the Marine Corps Memorial out of respect for the boys who fought and died on Iwo Jima for the Air Force.
James J. Bradley
Battle for Iwo Jima - World War II
February 19 to March 16,1945
Historical Facts and Figures
Location: Approximately 650 miles south of Tokyo, Japan.
Size of Island: Approximately 2 miles wide, 4 miles long; 8 square miles
Iwo Jima was the fist native Japanese soil invaded by Americans in W.W.II.
Approximately 60,000 Americans and 20,000 Japanese participated in the Battle.
The American Flag Raising on Mt. Suribachi took place on February 23, 1945 - the fifth day of battle. The Battle continued with increased intensity for a month more.
Almost 7,000 Americans were killed in action at Iwo Jima - more than 20,000 American casualties. Approximately one-third of all Marines killed at Iwo Jima - the worst Battle in Marine Corps history.
Twenty-seven Congressional Medals of Honor were awarded in the Battle - more than were awarded to Marines and Navy in any other Battle in our country's history.
Three of the men who raised the flag in the Joe Rosenthal photo were killed before the Battle was over
. After the capture of Iwo Jima, more than 30,000 American Airmen's lives were saved when more than 2,400 disabled B-29 bombers were able to make emergency landings at the Iwo Jima Airfield after making bombing flights over Japan.
Approximately 132 Americans killed at Iwo Jima were unidentifiable and listed as unknown.
More than 50b 4th Division Marines died of wounds aboard ship and were buried at sea.
The U.S. government returned the Island of Iwo Jima to the Japanese government in 1968, after the bodies of the men in the 3rd, 3th, and 5th Division cemeteries were removed to the United States
IWO JIMA PRESERVATION COMMITTEE SITREP: 11/99
C. G. Cooper, LtGen, USMC (Retired), Chairman of the Iwo Jima Preservation Committee
After over two years of an uphill fight to defend our beloved Marine Corps War Memorial from encroachment by intrusion of an AF Memorial, it seems appropriate to reflect on this struggle and comment on just where we stand today, 3 November 1999, on the eve of another birthday of our Corps. First, let me assure everyone reading this message, we are stronger today than we have ever been before in this struggle.
We started behind the power curve but have steadily gained momentum. Our initial legal efforts were unsuccessful, largely because the judges did not want to take over the process of site selection for memorials. They noted in their judgment that they didn't know where the AF Memorial should be located, but that the court was not the proper agency to determine this matter. We were disappointed but this was a small bump in the road. Shortly after this ruling, we had our first real opportunity to publicly express our views. By law, the AF Memorial Foundation and the National Park Service prepared an Environmental Assessment stating that their incursion would have "no adverse impact" on the Marine Corps Memorial. Public comment was mandated. Since that time, in Feb and March, when hundreds of letters and personal appeals were registered against the AF Memorial at public hearings, by persons of all stripes, vets, AF retired, civilians, neighbors, and active duty Marines, it has become apparent that our foes miscalculated in a most gross way. It shocked them. The rejection and animosity aroused was overwhelming.
Their Environmental Assessment proved to be woefully inadequate, inaccurate, and unsatisfactory. The killing blow was the highly technical and accurate official response from the US Marine Corps, which laid out the many short falls of this piece of paper. The inputs made back in Feb and March have been sorted, collated, and studied by the National Park Service. The ball is in their court. They must decide on one of three courses. First, to tell the AF to move to another site. Second, to admit that the assessment was inadequate and incorrect and then commence a very complete Environmental Impact Study, a lengthy, comprehensive process that could delay the matter for another year. Thirdly, they can paste a few Band-Aids on their original product and attempt to force the matter back to the National Capital Planning Commission for final design approval.
We have waited almost eight months for a decision. Meanwhile the Marine Corps has entered the fray by contesting the original contention of the Park Service that our Memorial was not eligible for nomination to the National Historic Register. Our appeal of that matter has recently resulted in the "Keeper" of the National Historic Register stating that not only was it eligible but that our Memorial was eligible in its own right, alone, as a national treasure, not as a part of any other park. This unique and important ruling creates another protective barrier around our beloved churchyard of the Corps. Should the NPS not respect this ruling and other aspects of the law, we are backed up by a Washington law firm of international repute, Covington and Burling, who will institute an immediate law suit in our behalf.
We get stronger each day. We are still hoping that the AF Memorial Foundation will accept our offer to assist them in finding an alternative location, ie the knoll by the Navy Annex. They have repeatedly turned down any offers for help, saying they have already won and will proceed. They will not and cannot until the last shot is fired. We have public support, the Park Service's delay makes it possible that the authorization for the AF Memorial may expire before they can get through all their necessary approval "wickets". We are dug in and determined. This has been too long but it's necessary for all to understand the complexities we are dealing with.
In a second part to this message, I must deal with another issue that has surfaced, that could create problems for our cause. It is the talk and commentary about a "Million Marine March". I will return to that next.
PROPOSALS FOR A MILLION MARINE MARCH:<0> C. G. Cooper, LtGen, USMC (Retired), Chairman of the Iwo Jima Preservation Committee
Recently my computer screen has been almost filled with comments and ideas dealing with trying to bring 1,000,000 former and active Marines together in D.C. to stop the Air Force Memorial and secondly, to celebrate 2000 with an enormous outpouring of Marines. It startled and dismayed me, for a number of reasons. I responded to the individual who appeared to have taken on the leadership of this endeavor, once I sensed what seemed to be happening. Without a lengthy commentary, I am paraphrasing what I said to him. Since his message came to me via an address "MAJORUSMCRET", I assumed he was a Major. He informed me that he is not, nor ever was a Major. He said he was a former Marine who lives in the Tidewater area of Virginia. His name is Tom Tanney.
"I appreciate your infoing me on your various activities. As chairman of the Iwo Jima Preservation Committee, allied with the Friends of Iwo Jima and Combat Veteran of Iwo Jima, I have spent over two years in the uphill battle to resist the efforts of the Air Force Memorial Foundation to build their memorial in Iwo Jima Park.
We have countless irons in the fire and our likelihood of victory has never been more favorable than at present. I am deeply concerned that your well meaning efforts to rally Marines to this cause could prove to be detrimental. Since learning of your efforts I have consulted on many fronts and at this time I would like to ask you, from the vantage point of having lead this bitter fight for two years, in complete harmony with the senior Marine Corps leadership, not to change the chemistry or create a situation that we and the top echelons of the Marine Corps cannot support.
I simply ask you to trust us in what we are doing. We are going to prevail. We are currently working to get a comprehensive message out to the field, but you must realize the sensitivity of the many issues do not allow public discussion or disclosure of much that we are doing at this time. We welcome support, but I must caution you that your approach to treat Washington as an objective to be captured by Marines is a very dangerous one. We are defenders of the Capital, an explicit mission of the Marine Corps, since Marine Barracks Washington was established.
I respect your zeal but sincerely request that you respond to my personal request for patience and trust at this time, not to foment a well-meaning chain of events that could degenerate into an action that would embarrass our Corps and prove to be counterproductive.
In summary, I sincerely hope that these hard-chargers who came up with this March idea will find it within their hearts and minds to reflect on the wisdom of this endeavor. We're in the assault phase of this momentous battle; we must not risk all that we have invested. Please give us the trust and confidence that Marines have always given their commanders in battle. We will not let you down!
MARINE CORPS LEAGUE INFORMATION ON THE IWO JIMA MEMORIAL DISCUSSION + USMC POSITION + MCL HOMEPAGE
In the Rolling Hills OF, Pennsylvania