by Mark W. Stevens Director of Communications, Iwo Jima Association of America
On August 16, 2016 my wife Glorene and I, had the distinct privilege and honor of attending the ship naming ceremony for a new Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer, the USS John Basilone DDG-122, at Camp Pendleton. Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus made the announcement and stated, “John Basilone was one of those Marines who Admiral Nimitz referred to as ‘uncommon valor was a common virtue,’”
L-R - Kurt Tong, deputy chief of mission for the U.S. Embassy in Japan; Lawrence Snowden and Gen. James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, lay a wreath during the 19th Annual Reunion of Honor on Iwo Jima, March 19, 2014.
The first "Return to Iwo Jima" by Veterans of the iconic battle occurred on Feb. 19, 1965, when 30 or so Iwo Jima wets still serving on active duty with the 1st Marine Air Wing in Iwakuni, Japan, and the 3rd Marine Division in Okinawa flew to Iwo Jima for a memorial service.