Today we remember our country's soldiers. I'm reminded of them every time I talk with Jack Phillips. Its there on his collar, the gold pin saying the most memorable days of his life were spent fighting in the Battle of Iwo Jima.
Jack grew up on Mary Street in Coconut Grove. He was in his second year of college when our country entered World War II. "Pearl Harbor? I'd never heard of the place," he said yesterday with a laugh. He quickly enlisted in the Marines where he learned to shoot a rifle and defuse land mines.
Jack went ashore with his platoon on the Island of Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945, and was wounded three days later. ""I caught a piece of shrapnel just above my right eye. It took over a year to heal but I was one of the lucky ones. A third of our boys didn't make it and the rest of us had to be carried out on stretchers."
He added, "I guess it all happened 68 years ago but I still think about it every day".