Virginia School Board Member Labels Marines Taking Iwo Jima an 'Act of Evil'

Fairfax County School Board Meeting (Credit: Twitter/1776 Project PAC)
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On 23 February 1945, four days after the Marines stormed the black sands of Iwo Jima, a Marine patrol was ordered to take the high point on Iwo Jima – Mount Suribachi. Marines and Corpsmen ascended the peak and around 10:30 AM, Marines lifted the colors. Marines and sailors rejoiced at the sight. Warships at sea blasted horns with fighting men around the peak, cheering. But the flag was too small. A second patrol was ordered to raise a second, much larger flag.

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Five Marines ascended to the top with a photographer in tow. Joe Rosenthal’s iconic image of Marines raising the flag, for a second time, became the image of the Pacific War. Battle-hardened Marines in the then-familiar combat uniform and camouflage helmets raised the U.S. colors over the Japanese island. Combat to take the island would continue for weeks. Many of the Marines on the summit wouldn’t survive.

While Marines of the V Amphibious Corp.,  3rd, 4th, and 5th Divisions were slugging it out on Iwo Jima, my dad was on Guadalcanal. A day after fellow Marines raised the flag on Mount Suribachi, my dad “celebrated” his 22nd birthday. He was a battle-hardened veteran for three assault landings by that point and by then was part of the 6thMarine Division. His Division was preparing for the coming assault on Okinawa.

On February 23, 2023, my dad was one day away from celebrating his 100th birthday. He was happy to have made it to 100. Nearly 7,000 Marines died on Iwo Jima. My dad knew some of them. Many of them never made it past the age of 22.

Also on February 23, 2023, but 3,000 miles away, and a world apart in understanding sacrifice, patriotism, and understanding the meaning of evil, a foolish and embarrassingly ignorant public official was labeling the battle of Iwo Jima “evil.” She wasn’t referring to the abject evil of the Japanese Empire which murdered thousands during the 1930s, started a world war, mass raped and murdered inhabitants of Nanking, and tortured, enslaved, and murdered U.S. prisoners, she was calling the Marines taking Iwo Jima, an act of “evil.”

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In a disgusting and stupid rant, Fairfax County School Board member Abrar Omeish said:

“Just a few days ago was Japanese Day of Remembrance,” Omeish said during the meeting. “Something for us to certainly reflect on … the days when, you know, Iwo Jima unfortunately happened and set a record for really what, I hate to say, human evil is capable of.”

She said the Battle for Iwo Jima “set a record for human evil.”

The “Day of Remembrance” reflects on the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and coincided with the Battle to take Iwo Jima.

Like so many politicians making incredibly stupid statements, Omeish was given a chance to walk her statements back. She didn’t. In fact, she doubled down saying:

“There is no reason to warp what was said, and reading more into it merely reflects biases forced in by the listener,”

Although that response seems more gibberish than a cogent response it seems that she’s inferring that anyone who doesn’t agree with her is a bigot.

She has made numerous idiotic statements in the past. She called Israel an apartheid state that kills Palestinians.

When my dad fought in the battle of Okinawa, he fought in one of the war’s bloodiest battles at Sugar Loaf Hill. And, while on the island he witnessed actual evil firsthand. Japanese soldiers told Okinawans that American soldiers would rape and murder woman and children. That evil myth caused women and children to jump to their deaths.

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During her remarks, Omeish also said, without the least amount of shame or irony, that we should “learn about history.” How people like Abrar Omeish can be and are elected to public office dumbfounds me. What’s her party affiliation? No need to guess. She’s a proud Democrat.

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