The events of this video occurred in 1999-2000. I remember the story then, but I did not know the most amazing part of the story. That the Butaritari people of that island had buried the Marine dead, had given them a warriors’ burial, is astounding and incredibly moving.
The August 1942 Makin Raid by Carlson’s 2nd Raider Bn killed a large number of Japanese on the island, but the raid was not really a success. as no prisoners were taken, and no Japanese forces diverted from the Solomons to the Gilberts. Nonetheless, the Butaritari people honored the sacrifice of those Marines, and protected their slain comrades from the hated Japanese until they were liberated in November of 1943.
(Among those on the Makin Raid was 2nd Lt Oscar Peatross, who would win a Navy Cross there. I had the honor of meeting him when I was stationed at Parris Island in the early 90s.)
Don’t be surprised to get dust in your eye while watching the video. Nineteen brave young Marines, honored by the people they died to free, and again by those they died to keep free. Semper Fidelis.
H/T to Dennis