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On the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima, Battleship Texas honors WWII vets Associated Press/Joe Rosenthal

Today marks 73 years since the Battle of Iwo Jima began.

The battle, one of the final battles of WWII, spanned five weeks and cost more than 24,000 American casualties, with over 6,800 dead. Most of the 21,000 Japanese soldiers who entered the fray were also killed.

The Battleship Texas Foundation hosted the fourth annual commemoration ceremony on the deck of the ship today to honor the surviving veterans of that battle.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Retired Lt. General Joseph F. Weber presided over the ceremony. Weber served almost 40 years in the Marine Corps, and more recently headed up the Texas Department of Transportation.

The Battleship Texas Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to the restoration and upkeep of the Battleship Texas as a historical site. Established in 1945, they partner with the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife, who owns the battleship, to host tours and public events.

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Multiple ceremonies were held to remember the historic battle and the people who fought in it, including one in Corpus Christi, Texas.

“To me it means a lot,” said Martin Longoria, Vice Chairman of the Corpus Christi Mayor’s Committee for Veterans Affairs, in an interview.

“It’s a significant part of being military, a significant part of our military history,” he added. “I mean it’s just something that we look upon, that took place 73 years ago, and its just something embedded (in) being a service member.”

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