Sunday, February 17, 2008

"If you don't tell your story, you're doing your service an injustice."

"If you don't tell your story, you're doing your service an injustice."

Those were the parting words of Major Norm Hatch, USMC (ret) as he wrapped up his presentation about combat photographers during World War 2 at the Combat Veterans of Iwo Jima Symposium tonight in Alexandria, Virginia.

He urged veterans to let their kids and grand kids interview them, "Tell them how you did your job. Why you did your job. What you did. What went wrong and what went right."

I had the honor of getting the opportunity to speak with him for quite some time before he spoke. Yes, I took notes and I plan on sharing with you all. I'm just really tired right now. Oh, just realized many of you probably don't know who Norm Hatch is, he was a Marine Corps Combat Correspondent. His film footage that he took at Tarawa, helped the Marine Corps win an Academy Award in 1943 for the short documentary of the Marine landing on that island. He also shot footage, along with several other Combat Cameramen, that went into another short documentary on the landing at Iwo Jima. The Marines were nominated for another academy award for documentary film for this but did not win.

Before I go, I'd like to introduce you to the veterans I met this evening. There were quite a few along with family members including grand children. One family had their son have the veterans autograph a map of Iwo Jim where they landed, what a good idea!

Below, Cy O'Brien, one of the combat correspondents on Iwo Jima along with Norm Hatch. Above, me with Don Knight, Marine Corps Combat Correspondent in the Pacific and in the Korean War.
This bunch of guys below are Norman L. Baker, 62nd Seabeas VAC; Jack Fagere, 133 CB, 4th Div, 23rd Reg; Garland J. Simmons, 5th Division, 28th Reg. (They are autographing my copy of Eric Hammel's book "Iwo Jima")

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