Iwo Jima: 50 Years of Memories
It was one of the last major battles of WWII, fought on a tiny Pacific island only eight square miles. And when it was over, nearly 30,000 American and Japanese men were dead. Thousands more were wounded.
Iwo Jima: 50 Years of Memories remains a moving tribute to all of the men who suffered through this horrific campaign - and thousands who didn't come home.
This is the story of Iwo Jima, told entirely through the voices of American servicemen who survived the hell that was "Operation Detachment." Interiewed in 1995 - 50 years after the last shot on Iwo was fired - many of these brave men had never before spoken to anyone about their experiences on "Sulpher Island" - a silence that haunted them for decades.
Originally broadcast on PBS stations in 1996, Iwo Jima: 50 Years of Memories has been digitally remastered with added footage and photographs, including additional maps and archival film not previously available to the public.
In hindsight comes clarity. Recording the innermost stories of many Iwo Jima veterans was a fascinating and humbling experience. Thinking back, this was an episode of combat veterans offloading traumatic tales, a defacto battle against the combustible stresses of PTSD. Through the weave of all of their words came this realization:
Certain stories require the listening heart of a fellow veteran.
"A very truthful history. You captured on film the Iwo I remember - better than any other film. I didn't cry, but my wife did, and that is notable - you often wonder if anyone can really feel what happened here."
- Paul M. Merriman, Iwo Jima veteran
"As a veteran of Iwo Jima myself, I find these recollections chillingly true to my own. A valuable addition to the archives of the war in the Pacific."
- Richard Wheeler, Iwo Jima veteran and author of Iwo and The Bloody Battle for Suribachi