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Thanks to and for the Men of Tarawa [November 20-23, 1943]

Marines, Tarawa

Thanks to and for the Men of Tarawa [November 20-23, 1943]
“As we celebrate Thanksgiving, take a moment to remember the many Americans who gave their last full measure 72 years ago in the attack on the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands.”

“Even though no point on the island was more than nine feet above sea level, the Japanese force of 4,800 soldiers had honeycombed the island with a formidable array of barbed wire, mines, bunkers, pillboxes, log barricades, and gun emplacements with interlocking fields of fire. It was the most fortified atoll the U.S. would invade. The Japanese commander, Rear Admiral Keiji Shibasaki, boasted that “a million Americans couldn’t take Tarawa in a hundred years.” When the battle was over, only 17 Japanese were alive, along with 129 forced Korean laborers.”

“In what is probably one of the greatest examples of bravery, fortitude, and sheer grit in the history of the Marine Corps, the Marines dismounted from the Higgins boats and waded hundreds of yards through chest-high water under intense enemy fire, loaded down with weapons and packs. Five thousand Marines managed to get ashore on the first day, but the lagoon was filled with the floating bodies of hundreds of dead Marines.”

“So as we sit down to our Thanksgiving dinners with our families, all of us should remember and give thanks to the American Marines and sailors who 72 years ago fought for the freedom, liberty, and security we enjoy as Americans. They didn’t experience a peaceful Thanksgiving, but they—and the men and women in our military today—are the reason all of us will be able to enjoy a peaceful holiday with our families.”



I wrote “thanks to and for” because we should give thanks to the men of Tarawa and for a country that produced such men and still does, although probably in smaller numbers than in 1943.

Unfortunately, and deliberately, American schools and universities do not teach American children about the courage and sacrifice of their forefathers on Tarawa [or Valley Forge, the shores of Tripoli, Shiloh, Gettysburg, Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, Omaha Beach, Bastogne, Chosin Reservoir, la Drang, etc. etc. etc].

“He who controls the past controls the future.  He who controls the present controls the past.”  George Orwell

Let us not only give thanks men of Tarawa and countless others who gave us the exceptional country we have today, but let us also renew our commitment to pass on an America as exceptional as the one we received, and that includes teaching the true history of, although not perfect measured by the standards of today, a great and exceptional country.



The most important political office is that of the private citizen.” Justice Louis D. Brandeis


We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.”  Ronald Reagan


I never worry about action, but only inaction.”  Winston Churchill


If there is something about government you don’t like, get together and do something about it.”  Howard Jarvis


It is always too soon to give up.” Pastor Jack Hibbs




Gregory W. Brittain, Attorney at Law

Redlands Tea Party Patriots Cabinet Member

Unite IE Board Member

707 Brookside Avenue, Redlands, CA 92373

909-335-7335; Fax: 909-335-7337; Cell: 909-327-8813| | |