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Video: Rare Footage of a Catholic Mass Aboard a Ship On Its Way to Iwo Jima

Zoe Romanowsky - published on 11/09/14

An incredible film taken the day before Ash Wednesday in 1945

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This short color film was shot on Monday, February 12, 1945, on a tank landing ship on its way to the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. It is likely, given the number of deaths in the battle, some of the men shown in this film never made it back. The film depicts Mass being celebrated on board the ship during high seas. The white liturgical vestments of the chaplain indicate a holy day: That year, February 12 was the eve of Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. This remarkable footage brings to mind the men and women who have given their lives over the years in service to their country.

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