Iwo Jima is a small speck of volcanic rock, only 8 square miles in area, poking up out of the Pacific Ocean about 700 miles from Japan. The Marines faced a Japanese force of about 21,000 men, well dug in on the volcanic island with a network of bunkers and tunnels.
The Marines threw themselves into the meat grinder, fighting up Mount Suribachi's 550 feet of altitude yard by yard, bunker by bunker. The tenacious Japanese defenders fought to the death, and the Marines had to use flame throwers and grenades to clear the tunnels.
The battle for Iwo Jima lasted a month. In that time, the Marines had 7,000 men killed, and 26,000 wounded.
May we be worthy of their sacrifice. Have a good Memorial Day.