Feb. 10, 2015

Rep. Mark Gillen and World War II veteran Mahlon Fink shared a moment alone on the side of the House chamber Tuesday morning. The House approved a resolution introduced by Gillen honoring Fink and the other American Marines and Navy personnel involved in the Battle of Iwo Jima nearly 70 years ago. 
– Nearly 70 years ago, he was surrounded by thousands of fellow Marines and the thundering noise of war. On Tuesday, he seemingly stood alone to the calm and grateful applause of Pennsylvania legislators.

Mahlon Fink, 89, of Cumru Township, was recognized by state Rep. Mark Gillen (R-Berks/Lancaster) in the Pennsylvania House chamber. Gillen introduced and the House approved a resolution commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima. Fink participated in the battle, which began Feb. 19, 1945.

“We are really blessed to have a hero like Mahlon Fink living in our area,” said Gillen. “Fink, his fellow Marines and other armed forces personnel helped turn the tide of the war in the Pacific. We have a responsibility to remember the sacrifices they made and the lives that were lost so many years ago on that hot island so far from home.”

Approximately 450 American ships, 60,000 Marines and 10,000 Navy Seabees took part in the amphibious landing under protective gunfire provided by the U.S. Navy.

The 36-day assault from Feb. 19 to March 26 claimed the lives of 6,821 American troops. Another 19,217 Americans were wounded during the battle and two soldiers were taken captive.

The battle accounted for one-third of all Marines killed in World War II. The fighting resulted in the most casualties in Marine Corps history during a single battle.

Gillen’s House Resolution 27 commemorates Feb. 19, 2015, as “The Battle of Iwo Jima Remembrance Day” in Pennsylvania.

“I can’t express in words what a true privilege it was to have Mahlon Fink in the state House chamber with me as we voted on this resolution,” Gillen said. “State representatives from across our Commonwealth came up to Mahlon to shake his hand and thank him for his service to our country.”

Residents can view a video from today’s House activity at www.RepGillen.com or on Gillen’s Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/RepGillen.

Representative Mark Gillen
128th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Dan Massing
RepGillen.com / Facebook.com/RepGillen