Heros Without Faces Essay

1041 words - 4 pages


Throughout school, many students come in contact with the picture of the six marines raising the American flag in the battle of Iwo Jima. The students also know this picture as a statue that was made to honor all of those that were lost in this tragic battle. James Bradley wanted to change how people looked at this picture or statue. He wanted to give each marine a name to go along with the hand or face that is seen in the picture. James, when writing the book, makes each chapter the next stage in each of the six men lives.
James Bradley begins the book by giving the reader the background of each of men. The men, oddly enough, represent how America was before World War II started. There is the farmer, Franklin Sousley, the rancher, Harlon Block, the mill worker, Rene Gagnon, the Native American, Ira Hayes, the immigrant, Mike Strank, and the serious small towner, Jack Bradley, which when placed together form a cross-section of America.
After outlining all the marines’ history, James Bradley, then goes into why America is in the war in the pacific with Japan. He also goes into father detail as to why the six men joined the marines. Along with the six marines, James explains what characteristics in this war make it different, such as amphibious warfare. This is the method where Marine Corps troops go ashore onto Pacific islands from ships to assault the enemy (Webster Dictionary). Another important fact that he brings up, is why the battle of Iwo Jima is going to be so hard to win. This is because all the Japanese were train to fight till they die; not one single Japanese expected to return home because in their eyes it was an honor to fight till death for the emperor.
By the end of the chapter, all six men are transferred to a special unit of the Marines to begin a year of hard training. This is where they found out that they were going on a special mission to “Island X”, later revealed as Iwo Jima. This training camp was also where they all met because they were in the same company, Easy Company. The men tried to stay up-beat, but most of them knew that the battle of Iwo Jima was going to be there last.
After training the six men were then placed in a group, called Spearhead, which left Pearl Harbor and sailed toward Iwo Jima hoping to make land fall on February 19, 1945, also known as D-day. The defenses the Japanese built on Iwo Jima was like none ever expected. They made what looked like an underground city with an extensive series of underground tunnels, James Bradley explains. This defense is what made Iwo Jima the bloodiest and most costly battle of the war in terms of lives lost and injuries.
James Bradley describes how he found people to give interviews to describe the events of the first awful days of battle for the Marines at Iwo Jima. To let the reader know just how bad D-day was, James puts in...

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