It’s the human element that will bring this memorial to life for future generations
Newport Beach, California (PRWEB) February 17, 2015
To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Iwo Jima invasion, Operation Home of The Brave will host a luncheon for Iwo Jima survivors from the Marine Corps and Navy. The luncheon will be held Monday, Feb. 23, at the Newport Beach Marriott Resort and Spa, Newport Beach near the Marine Corps base Camp Pendleton in San Diego County.
Operation Home of The Brave is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a lasting memorial of the historic flag-raising on Iwo Jima to be located at Camp Pendleton. The goal of the luncheon is to honor the surviving Marine Corps and Navy veterans, said Laura Dietz, an ardent supporter of the Marine Corps and its families, and the driving force behind the non profit public charity (50lc3), Iwo Jima Monument West (EIN 46-7128553).
“We believe these brave Marines who sacrificed their lives for our country deserve significant recognition,” she said. “This luncheon is to honor them and their legacy. To have a dozen or more Iwo Jima veterans here on this special day will be amazing. Most of them were able to see that flag flying atop Mt. Suribachi during the battle.”
The luncheon is free and open to the public. To attend, please contact Ms. Dietz through the web site by Feb. 19.
The luncheon also serves to reinforce the national fund-raising campaign led by Operation Home of The Brave. The goal of the campaign is to purchase an original deWeldon sculpture, owned by Rodney Hilton Brown of New York City, and construct a memorial at Camp Pendleton honoring the Marines’ courage and sacrifice on Iwo Jima.
The deWeldon sculpture, which serves as the centerpiece of the memorial, is a smaller version of the iconic Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington VA, adjacent to the national cemetery. Visited by millions every year, it depicts five Marines and a U.S. Navy corpsman raising the US flag atop Mt. Suribachi on Feb. 23, 1945.
“It’s the human element that will bring this memorial to life for future generations,” Dietz said. “I’m hoping that some of the surviving veterans will contact me, even if they can’t attend the luncheon, so we can chronicle their experience and preserve those memories forever.”
Dietz is determined to see that Iwo Jima and the sacrifices of thousands of American Marines are not forgotten. The five-week battle led to unprecedented losses among U.S. Marines to that point in World War II – more than 26,000 casualties, including 6,800 dead. Twenty seven U.S. Medals of Honor were awarded to American military personnel who fought on Iwo Jima.
Dietz is seeking out all Iwo Jima survivors from the Marine Corps and Navy and asks that they or a family member make contact with Dietz at marinesoniwojima(at)gmail(dot)com if they can attend the Feb. 23rd luncheon or wish to tell their stories for the project.
“The 70th anniversary tribute is dedicated to these veterans for their individual and collective courage,” Dietz said. “We only wish that we could invite every Iwo Jima veteran still with us, but it’s terribly difficult to find them. We need the public’s help to do that.”
Anyone interested in learning more about Operation Home of The Brave is encouraged to contact Laura Dietz via the web site, http://www.marinesoniwojima.com. Tax deductible donations can be made at http://www.marinesoniwojima.com