Subject: Iwo Jima
The trip is a go, we leave tomorrow.

I have been so concerned about missing the plane (flat tire, dead battery, whatever) that I am going to spend tonight at the hotel with the tour group. Breakfast in the hotel lobby starts at 4:00 A.M., and leave for the airport at 5:00 A.M. (Or as we say on Guam, O dark thirty.) Departure is at 7:15 and it will take less than two hours to get to Iwo Jima on a 737 aircraft.

The Commandant of the Marine Corps (U.S.A.) is also going to Iwo Jima, but I don't know if he will be with us or take his own plane. About 85 people from the States are on the trip, they are touring WWII sites around the Pacific. All the other sites are accessible by scheduled airlines, only Iwo Jima requires a chartered plane. The plane has a maximum of 30 seats available for people from Guam.

In the morning will be a short ceremony marking the 57th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima. Following that will be box lunches and tours of the island. U.S. Marines with humvies (spelling?) will be shuttling around the island. People on the tour can stop at will to see the sights/sites and continue later. Departure will be at 6:00 P.M. The normal population of the island is about 400 Japanese soldiers, but tomorrow I expect that the population will increase by 50%.

For the first time in my life, I am taking a backup camera. And also my digital camera. So hopefully I will be able to get a few pictures to share with everyone.

Anna Sloan Guam