Semper Fideles: Always Faithful
I have great respect and honor for all of the Americans who dedicated their lives and for the Americans who continue to dedicate their lives to protect my freedom. My way of life is the result of their enormous sacrifice. However, I have never been a fan of war history.
|Re-enactment of the Battle of Iwo Jima|
I wasn’t overly thrilled while standing on the crowded sidewalk in the middle of downtown Fredericksburg in the cold, gloomy weather, waiting for the parade to start. But my husband totally enjoyed it, so I was determined to make the best of it. As we waited for the parade to begin, I became fascinated with the vast number of military veterans walking around in their reddish-orange colored vests and their strange-looking caps. Whenever the veterans encountered one another, they gave a “thumbs-up” and said something that to me sounded like “simplify.” At first, I didn’t wonder too much about what they were saying, but after hearing it repeatedly, I began to wonder if I was hearing the word correctly.
Once the parade began, I found myself fascinated by the array of World War II armory. Surprisingly, I found myself moving off the sidewalk and out into the street in the cold drizzly weather along with everyone else in order to get a closer view of the parade. The camaraderie between the veterans and the excitement of the parade made me ignore the damp weather. I was having a good time.
|The recreated Mount Suribachi on the Welge Ranch in Doss, Texas|
Later that day, we attended the reenactment of the battle of Iwo Jima. I thought about “semper fi” as I attentively watched and listened to the realistic sights and sounds of the battle. I became emotional when seeing soldiers carry the make-believe dead and wounded bodies of their war brothers off the battle ground. I grappled with the finality of death for the soldiers who actually died during the real battle. I thought about the loved ones they left behind, the life experiences they missed, and all of the many other things that death takes away. Several times my thoughts were so overwhelming that I had to swallow hard to keep my tears from falling. And as I watched the reenactment of the raising of the flag on top of Mount Suribachi, the words “semper fideles” kept running through my mind. Now knowing that these men lived by being “always faithful” deeply increased my respect for their way of life.
|Re-enactment of the flag raising on top of the recreated Mount Suribachi on the Welge Ranch|
Copied From Program: The event was a large scale reenactment of the Battle for Mount Suribachi and the Two Flag Raisings. Several hundred miliary volunteers staged a large scale reenactment recreating the fighting around the base of Mount Suribachi and the two flag raisings (in the original battle, there were two flag raisings in order to preserve the first flag that was raised immediately after the battle).
The reenactment took place on the Welge Ranch in Doss, Texas.
The event was sponsered by “The Admiral Nimitz Foundation and the National Museum of the Pacific War” in Fredericksburg, Texas.
A heroes’ parade took place down Main Street in Fredericksburg, Texas. The parade featured Iwo Jima veterans, military veterans from past conflicts, active duty military, and dozens of WWII vehicles.