Seventeen veterans of the Battle of Iwo Jima turned out for the Marine Military Academy Iwo Jima Parade on Feb. 19. This year marked the 69th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima, a major battle that took place in the Pacific during World War II. Including the veterans of Iwo Jima, at least 25 World War II veterans attended the parade.
This year’s Iwo Jima Parade had an extraordinary turnout, with more than 350 people in attendance. MMA is the only place in the nation that holds a battalion-size parade on the actual anniversary (Feb. 19) of the battle.
One of the World War II veterans to attend the Iwo Jima Parade was Glen Cleckler of Harlingen, Texas. Mr. Cleckler was the best friend of Cpl Harlon Block, the Marine depicted at the base of the flagpole in the Iwo Jima Monument. Cpl Block’s gravesite resides behind the Iwo Jima Monument.