It began with my good friend insisting I listen to the book on CD, “Flags of our Fathers.”
Me: “Will it make me cry? Am I going to hate it? How hard is it to listen to?”
My Friend: “Just listen to it.”
In other words, “It’s your history. It’s real. Step up.”
Step up I did. I’m not sure how many people pulled up to me over the next few weeks, only to see tears rolling down my cheeks… but I didn’t care. The book was indeed incredibly hard to listen to. But now I feel every American should listen to it.
I am ashamed to say I never knew there were two flag raisings on Iwo Jima. And that there was a cover-up regarding the names of one of the flag raisers. And that the Pima Native American Ira Hayes walked and hitchhiked 1,300 miles to tell the Block family that their son was one of the flag raisers – something that had been covered up by the military.
So much history.
Today, I watched the movie. It was extremely hard to view, as I expected. But the hardest part was looking at the actual Iwo Jima photos shown during the credits. This brings me to the pictures below.
These Japanese dog tags are in my friend’s possession. As you see from the note, his grandfather found them on a beach in the Pacific after a World War II battle. And my friend let me hold them. HOLD THEM. Actual Japanese dog tags from what I assume were fallen Japanese soldiers.
I am not writing with any political views. I am sharing these pictures as a piece of significant world history. Holding these dog tags took my breath away, for many many reasons. The history of what I held in my hands was truly overwhelming, to say the least.
A very special thanks to my friend and BB, for letting me share these pictures.
If you know anyone who can translate these tags or tell more about them, can you please post below? I am particularly interested in what the circle tag was used for. The history of these pieces leaves me speechless.
Have you ever seen or held something from the past that caused this type of feeling in you?