Nearly seven decades have passed since the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II, so 21 shots will ring out from Camp Pendleton to honor the service members killed in the fighting.
The base’s artillery units will fire the ceremonial 21-gun salute at the Pacific Views Event Center between 4:30 and 5 p.m. on Saturday to commemorate the battle’s 69th anniversary.
The center is located on the southwestern part of the base near the main gate, and officials said the guns may be heard up to 50 miles away.
Between Feb. 19 and March 26, 1945, Marines and sailors captured the Japanese-held island in a strategic move so U.S. air attacks could more easily be staged against Japan’s mainland.
The resulting battle was one of the bloodiest in Marine Corps history, according to the National World War II Museum.
More than 6,800 U.S. Marines and sailors were killed and another 20,000 wounded. Nearly 19,000 Japanese service members died in the battle.
The iconic photograph “Raising the Flag Iwo Jima” was taken during the battle on Feb. 23, 1945 on top Mt. Suribachi.