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ONE BODY TO THE DEATH


On February 19, 1945, near the end of WWII, 800 American ships amassed to assault the island of Iwo Jima with its two strategic air strips 600 miles south of Tokyo. The Marines had fought a total of 43 months in the Pacific in World War II and in this one-month assault on Iwo Jima they incurred a third of thier losses. They won the battle and took the island, but left behind the largest cemetery in the Pacific: 6,800 American Marines, most of whom were 18-20 years old. How did they do it? Pushing forward into the thickest machine gun fire that you could imagine? The second battalion sent 1,688 boys ashore into the face of those guns. 1,511 were killed. 177 left the island. 91 of those were injured. What kept them going? Of course there is no one simple answer. But one answer that came out over and over in this book, Flags of our Fathers (New York: Bantam Books, 2000), was this: Those are my buddies, and they need me. James Bradley, the author, commented, "These boys would fight to the death for one another. And that motive made them invincible" (p. 147).


(Referenced in John Piper’s sermon No Condemnation In Christ Jesus, One Body In Christ)

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