THE 7th Engineer Support Battalion of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, 1st Marine Logistics Group is grateful to the leaders and community members of Tinian for joining them in honoring the Marines who fought in the Battle of Tinian 77 years ago.
During Memorial Day on May 31, Tinian Mayor Edwin P. Aldan, Senate President Jude U. Hofschneider, Sen. Frank Q. Cruz, Sen. Karl King-Nabors and Rep. Patrick San Nicolas joined the 20 members of the 7th Engineer Support Battalion's Charlie Company in installing a memorial plaque on a monument to honor the 389 U.S. Marine Corps officers and men who were killed and the 1,816 who were wounded on Kastiyu Plateau during the Battle of Tinian in August 1944.
Also joining them were Tinian Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps cadets, local historian Don Farrell and other members of the local community.
Charlie Company Staff Sgt. Mike Smith said in an interview that the event was very humbling. He said they appreciate the support of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3457, the Tinian Mayor's Office, the Tinian legislative leaders and other members of the local community.
“When we first got to the island, we got a tour from [local historian Don Farrell] who took us up to a plateau and showed us where the final battle took place, and when we saw there was nothing up there we kind of decided we need to do something. We needed to put a monument up there," Smith said.
Other members of the Charlie Company said they wanted to honor "those who came before us and died here on Tinian — those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation."
Another Marine said, "It's simply not enough to just say the names of the fallen. We have to honor their sacrifice. It's amazing that we're doing this with support from VFW, the local officials of government agencies and members of the community. We are greatly appreciative [of] them for joining us in honoring our fallen."
The 7th Engineer Support Battalion will be on Tinian for the next couple of years. Although Marines had trained on Tinian in previous years, this is the first time since World War II that Marines are stationed on the island for a longer term.