Warm send-off held at LAX for veterans headed for Iwo Jima

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A warm send-off and celebration was held at Los Angeles International Airport Tuesday morning for seven WWII veterans, three of whom fought on Iwo Jima, the site of the iconic flag-raising following one of the bloodiest battles on Feb. 23, 1945.

Veterans are allowed to return to Iwo Jima for one day every year when the Japanese government opens the island for the joint Reunion of Honor to recognize the fallen and missing.

"It brings a tear to your eye to know that we're being remembered. This is for all the guys, not just me," said one veteran.

This year marks the 74th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima. The veterans were honored for their humility and were described as "some of the most fierce warriors this country has ever seen," yet ask for nothing.

The seven men were accompanied to the gate, boarding pass in hand, headed for the annual reunion.
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