Iwo Jima, Japan (Scenic Cruising)
Half way between Japan and the Northern Marianas lie the hallowed grounds where many thousands of men lost their lives. The Japanese named this submerged caldera, Iwo Jima or Sulfur Island. Once a pockmarked black volcanic island wreathed in sulfurous fumes and steaming vents, this submerged extinct caldera shows signs of life, with a green cover of shrubbery and grasses.
This location has historic significant as 100,000 men battled on this small island for 36 days during World War II. The struggle for Iwo Jima ended with the decimation of the Japanese garrison. And it was here that Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Joe Rosenthal photographed the Marines raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi.
Sail around the sunken caldera and ponder the bloody history and the lives lost, but not forgotten.
The joint American-Japanese Memorial and the Landing Beach sites commemorate the more than 28,000 lives lost here on Iwo Jima.
Iwo Jima's dominating geographical feature is Mount Suribachi, an extinct volcano that forms the narrow southern tip and rises to an altitude of 400 feet.
This cave complex was transformed into a Japanese hospital. In 1984, mummified remains of several Japanese soldiers were found here, complete with weapons and uniforms.
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