The Anonymous MarinesToday is Memorial Day, a day that we stop and honor all of those that have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to this country. While we use this day to remember all of those that died serving this country and the cause of freedom, I thought that I would narrow the focus of this post to just four young men.
Many years ago I purchased an old book at a flea market. When I got the book home and took a better look at it I found something extra inside. In the book there were three items carefully pressed and preserved. Obviously someone thought the items worth saving.
Inside the book there was a small worn and faded photo. Clearly it had been handled a lot. The photo showed four WWII era Marines posing for a picture but there were no writing or markings to indicate where the photo was taken. The second item was a very tattered 1940s era arcade type photo of a nude lady standing on the beach. She was covered with numerous creases, folds and ink stains. I would be willing to bet anything that this blonde cutie had traveled from one end of the Pacific to the other, and maybe back again, in one of those Marine's pockets. The third item was a small story that had been torn from a newspaper. The short article was dated July 2nd, 1944 and told of the Marine Corp's Second and Fourth Divisions, along with the Army's 27th, fighting on Saipan in the Mariana islands.
I do not know who put these items in the book. I doubt that I ever will know. Perhaps it was one of the Marines in the photo that carefully preserved these mementos, or maybe a loved one of one of those Marines. When I look at this photo I can't help but wonder what became of the young men in it. Did they survive the war? All of them, some, or possibly none? Did they go on to lead rich, productive lives, or were their lives tragically cut short defending this nation? As I said, we will never know. Maybe we're not meant to know. Maybe just knowing that these men were called to serve their country in a time of need and they answered that call is all that really needs knowing...