|Rasmussen Gas Logs & Grills will be closed in observance of Memorial Day on Monday, May 27, 2013. We will reopen on Tuesday, May 28.
On Memorial Day we honor those who died in the service of our country. When I was in the active duty Navy, I was privileged to serve for three years on USS Stein (FF-1065), a Knox-class frigate. USS Stein was named in honor of Corporal Tony Stein, USMCR, who was among the initial Marines that assaulted Iwo Jima against the Japanese during WWII. The ship’s motto was “Indomitable”, which came from his Congressional Medal of Honor citation, which reads:
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to
CORPORAL TONY STEIN
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS RESERVE
for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company A, 1st Battalion, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, in the Volcano Islands, 19 February 1945. The first man of his unit to be on station after hitting the beach in the initial assault, Cpl. Stein, armed with a personally improvised aircraft-type weapon, provided rapid covering fire as the remainder of his platoon attempted to move into position. When his comrades were stalled by a concentrated machinegun and mortar barrage, he gallantly stood upright and exposed himself to the enemy’s view, thereby drawing the hostile fire to his own person and enabling him to observe the location of the furiously blazing hostile guns. Determined to neutralize the strategically placed weapons, he boldly charged the enemy pillboxes 1 by 1 and succeeded in killing 20 of the enemy during the furious single-handed assault. Cool and courageous under the merciless hail of exploding shells and bullets which fell on all sides, he continued to deliver the fire of his skillfully improvised weapon at a tremendous rate of speed which rapidly exhausted his ammunition. Undaunted, he removed his helmet and shoes to expedite his movements and ran back to the beach for additional ammunition, making a total of 8 trips under intense fire and carrying or assisting a wounded man back each time. Despite the unrelenting savagery and confusion of battle, he rendered prompt assistance to his platoon whenever the unit was in position, directing the fire of a half-track against a stubborn pillbox until he had effected the ultimate destruction of the Japanese fortification. Later in the day, although his weapon was twice shot from his hands, he personally covered the withdrawal of his platoon to the company position. Stouthearted and indomitable, Cpl. Stein, by his aggressive initiative, sound judgment, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of terrific odds, contributed materially to the fulfillment of his mission, and his outstanding valor throughout the bitter hours of conflict sustains and enhances the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
/S/ HARRY S. TRUMAN
CPL Stein was wounded four days later during the fight for Mount Suribachi (memorialized in the famous flag raising photo and Marine Corps Monument in Arlington, VA) and was evacuated to a hospital ship. When CPL Stein learned that his regiment had taken heavy casualties during their advance up the island, he left the hospital ship and returned to his unit. On March 1, one week after his heroic actions that resulted in his Medal of Honor, he was killed by a sniper while leading a 19-man patrol to reconnoiter a machine gun emplacement which had Marines pinned down. CPL Stein was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.
Conspicuous gallantry. Intrepidity at the risk of his life. Determined. Cool. Courageous. Undaunted. Stouthearted. Unwavering devotion to duty. Indomitable.
Such inspiration to us mere mortals. But just one example of having given one’s life in the service of his country.
While this weekend is the traditional start of summer, with grilling and relaxing time with friends and family, please join me in flying the flag of our country and saying a prayer of thanks to the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our freedoms and securing the blessings of liberty to our great country.