On Feb. 23, 1945, Williams was a 21-year-old Marine corporal fighting in Battle of Iwo Jima, one of the most brutal and unforgiving battles in American military history. The fighting was horrific, and the events of that day have stayed with Williams for the last 71 years.
Australians of the 53rd Battalion pictured on the afternoon of the 19th; three of the men pictured would be wounded and the remainder killed.
July 19 1916, Fromelles–In the leadup to the Somme, it was envisioned that the Allies would make a major breakthrough, which could soon be followed up by attacks elsewhere on the line. Even as victory on the Somme proved quickly elusive, planning for these subsidiary attacks continued, if downgraded to an effort to prevent German reserves from being moved to the Somme. The main such planned attack was at Fromelles, along the Aubers Ridge that had been fought over more than a year prior. Here, the 5th Australian Division and the 61st Division were assigned to the attack; half of the Australians were veterans of the Gallipoli campaign and were used to trench warfare (albeit that of a dryer variety), whereas the 61st had only arrived in France in the last month and was still well understrength. They would attack in the direction of Lille, though even the attack’s planners knew they would not be able to push further than the first three German trench lines. The decision to attack had ultimately been left up to General Monro by Haig; despite the changing goals, poor weather conditions, and unlikely prospects for success, he decided to proceed anyway.
Attempting to learn from the Somme, some modified tactics were used in an attempt to fool the Germans. The barrage, after lifting from the German lines, would be brought back again, attempting to catch the Germans as they emerged from their underground shelters to repel the infantry attack; dummy soldiers were hoisted above parapets in order to aid in the illusion of an immediate attack. However, these tactics were ineffective in practice. Constant rain and mist interfered had interfered with artillery spotting. More crucially, the line they were targeting had been abandoned by the Germans long ago in favor of positions on the reverse slope of Aubers Ridge; the artillery bombardment was hitting nothing.
When the Australians advanced, around 5:30 PM on July 19th, they found no line to capture. Attempting to move further forward, they came upon the German second (now first) line, with a complete and unbroken line of wire. The British of the 61st Division left their trenches by sally ports, presenting convenient targets for German machine gunners. By 9PM, the attack had largely collapsed, except around the Sugar Loaf strongpoint in the center of the line. Reinforcements were ordered to assist in the attack there, so there would at least be a single gain to show from the day–but realizing the hopelessness of the attack, they were soon cancelled. These countermanding orders did not reach the 59th Australian Battalion in time, however, and they were cut down, unsupported, in no-man’s land. Over the course of a few hours, the Australians suffered over 5000 casualties; the British (attacking with fewer men) over 1500.
Thank you to my brothers of my generation in the Australian Royal Marines that I had the pleasure to serve and learn with. Thank you for always being the most gracious of host nations for our Marines and giving us the space to train that we no longer are permitted within our own nation. Thank you most for your sacrifices and examples of courageous leadership spanning over a century. You never backed down from a fight when we fought back to back as brothers. I’m proud of your example and steadfast support you’ve always shown my nation and particularly her Marines. Semper Fidelis, Shannon
“Remember who you belong to”
When and every time my Grandmother said to us “remember who you belong to.” She didn’t just mean that we belonged to her as in don’t mess this up. She implied, implored, and impressed that by remembering to whom we belong to, that it meant to remember that I am a new creature and child of our Mighty Lord Christ Jesus. It meant to remember that I am a child of the family that is Beaman, Armstrong, Cooley, Wilson, and Wallace.
That it meant to remember that it was those families for which I’m a child of, did in steadfast faith, purpose, and action settle on this continent at Plymouth, at Boston, in Kentucky, and at Nova Scotia.
It meant to remember that members of our family were part of the 3 percent of colonialists who risked life, property, and their sacred honor to fight for our independence from Tyranny. They civilly founded two Constitution’s and if needed We today can and have already made in many states the groundwork to convene a third Constitutional Convention because the example has been laid before us. It also meant that I was to learn and study our history and the history of the world so that I might remember and be grateful and cautious to learn from our history. It meant never to forget the moments you have had with your Uncles and Grandfathers that have gone off to war; they won’t be with you forever so go to them young man, take leave young Marine while you still can. She meant that I was to choose the right heroes in life and then to remember you then belong to their memory and accountability also.
My heroes and/or beloved influencers were and are special and if you may not know of them, I’d be proud to introduce you to- Wendy Dawn White-Beaman, Sergeant Robert F Cooley USMC, Tech Sergeant James Earnest Armstrong USA, Tennie Wilson Beaman DAR, Roger Wilson Beaman, Ryan Wallace Beaman, Master Sergeant Jeff Hess USMC, Gunnery Sergeant Oronde Ward USMC, Chief Warrant Officer Henry Cooke USMC, General and President George Washington, Corporal Rick Johnson USMC, John Calvin, Rev Andrew Wiggins, Dr Christine Brown, Martin Luther, Rev Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Taylor Elizabeth Beaman, Allyson Rose Beaman, President Ronald Reagan, Rev Martin Luther King Jr, Rev/Chaplain Dean Emery USA, Rev R.C. Sproul, Rev John Piper, Staff Sergeant ‘Cricket Black’ USMC, 2nd Lieutenant Charlie ‘Hambizl’ Hamilton USMC, Chief Warrant Officer Don Brown USMC, Master Sergeant Joaquin Cocco USMC, Lance Corporal Scott Dougherty USMC, Master Gunnery Sergeant Michael ‘The Last Centurion’ Bragin USMC, Master Sergeant Edward Valdez USMC, Master Gunnery Sergeant Alberto Gomez, Sergeant Frederick Pou USMC, Lt Colonel Jack May USAF, Colonel Michael Bowersox USMC, Lt Colonel Christine Rabaja USMC, Gunnery Sergeant Mark Jones USMC, Master Gunnery Sergeant Lloyd Locklear USMC, C.S. Lewis, Gunnery Sergeant Paul Agromonte USMC, PM Sir Winston Churchill, Rev John Allen , Robert James Armstrong, SSgt Manuel Disla USMC, President Abraham Lincoln, the Police, Fire and Rescue, my brothers and sisters in arms and in the Lord, and even Glenn Beck…….
So I’m just thinking that with my lifes heroes being Christ, Elizabeth Holbrooke Cooley-Armstrong, George Washington, Wendy Dawn White-Beaman and my daughters; that could not ever be as though I don’t ‘belong’!
As my grandmother said thousands of times, but has joyfully been followed by James into their eternal home: “Remember who you belong to”
A great blog post; worth a read!
AFTER FLIGHT 77 hit the Pentagon on 9/11, the following incident occurred:A chaplain, who happened to be assigned to the Pentagon, told of an incident that never made the news. A daycare facility inside the Pentagon had many children, including infants who were in heavy cribs. The daycare supervisor, looking at all the children they needed to evacuate, was in a panic over what they could do. There were many children, mostly toddlers, as well as the infants that would need to be taken out with the cribs.
There was no time to try to bundle them into carriers and strollers. Just then a young Marine came running into the center and asked what they needed. After hearing what the center director was trying to do, he ran back out into the hallway and disappeared. The director thought, “Well, here we are, on our own.”
About 2 minutes later, that Marine returned with 40 other Marines in tow. Each of them grabbed a crib with a child, and the rest started gathering up toddlers. The director and her staff then helped them take all the children out of the center and down toward the park near the Potomac.
Once they got about 3/4 of a mile outside the building, the Marines stopped in the park, and then did a fabulous thing – they formed a circle with the cribs, which were quite sturdy and heavy, like the covered wagons in the Old West. Inside this circle of cribs, they put the toddlers, to keep them from wandering off. Outside this circle were the 40 Marines, forming a perimeter around the children and waiting for instructions. There they remained until the parents could be notified and come get their children.
The chaplain then said, “I don’t think any of us saw nor heard of this on any of the news stories of the day. It was an incredible story of our men there.” There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. The thought of those Marines and what they did and how fast they reacted; could we expect any less from them? It was one of the most touching stories from the Pentagon. It’s the Military, not the politicians that ensures our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s the Military who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag. If you care to offer the smallest token of recognition and appreciation for the military, please pass this on and pray for our men and women, who have served and are currently serving our country, and pray for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.