My trip to HACKSAW RIDGE!

in travel •  last year 

hack

Have you seen the movie? Most of us have i would think!

Based on an incredible true story of Private First Class Desmond T. Doss, a congressional medal of honor recipient for his actions during the battle of Hacksaw Ridge in World War II, May 5th 1945

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A little bit of background on this hero before we start! Desmond Doss was born in Lynchburg Virginia on February 7th, 1919. He entered his military career April 1st, 1942. He was awarded 2 bronze stars for his service in battles in Guam and the Philippines. He was awarded the Medal of honor and the purple heart for his contributions to the battle of Okinawa, where "Hacksaw Ridge" happened.
During the Battle he saved the lives os 50-100 wounded infantrymen, and was also wounded from a snipers bullet that fractured his left arm, leaving 17 pieces of shrapnel embedded in his body.

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From top, left to right the medals are as follows.

  • Combat Medical Badge
  • Medal of Honor
  • Bronze Star (With a "V" distinguishing heroism or valor in combat)
  • Purple Heart
  • Army good conduct
  • American Campaign Medal
  • Asiantic-Pacific Campaign medal
  • World War II Victory Medal
  • Philippine Liberation Medal
  • Army Presidential Unit Citation
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation

My trip to Hacksaw Ridge on the other hand was very different...

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We started off on our bikes from Kadena Airforce base on the island of Okinawa, Japan. It was about about a 9mile bike ride to the historical battlegrounds. Unfortunately as soon as we got there it started pouring down with rain, so we took a little bit of cover until it stopped!

Keep in mind, it has been over 73 years since the battle has taken place, a lot has changed and living things are finally growing again!

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At this point we are at the very western part of the ridge where it starts and the ridge extends for about a mile! Time to start the adventure!

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We continued down the path on our bikes for a little bit until we got to these stairs. A bit of a walk to hike our bikes all the way up but we gotta get there don't we!

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So we finally made it to the Ridge! The view here is pretty amazing i will say. A beautiful shot of the ocean on the left and the town of Ginowan and Chatan to the right!

The tiny Museum there.

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Wow. how amazing is it that 73 years ago all of this happened, and im staring at a weapon that could of killed hundreds of people and a rusted helmet. If only i could feel what all of these men felt when they were tasked to climb that ridge.
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Here is where the Museum got interesting.

When i looked at this picture my mind was absolutely BLOWN! The top picture was taken after the battle was won. Look at it. There isn't a living thing there! Burnt, barren wasteland where the only thing that was there was death. Everything looks so differently. The picture on the bottom is of present day.

LOOK AT THE TOP RIGHT OF THE PAGE ON THE LEFT

There is a Huge rock that looks like it has been circled (it was because the woman showing us circled it) i believe the woman called Needle Nose. you can see it in the picture from 73 years ago, and you can still see the rock in the picture that was taken recently!

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There he is.

In this picture, you can see Pfc. Desmond Doss at the top of Hacksaw Ridge where he helped save 75 men in a 12 hour period. Can you believe how amazing that is? He is a true hero.
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Of course we couldn't even make it to the top without a roadblock of our own.

One last fix of the bikes before we head up to the historic battleground.
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Here it is...

The top of the ridge where so much life was lost. Its absolutely insane that such a bloody fight was fought on a ridge top this small.
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On to Doss Point!

Named after Pfc. Doss where he hoisted down countless wounded soldiers and saved many lives!
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Now of course you can barely see how steep it is, and there is a road right next to it leading to the cemetery. this is when it really hit me how many people have died there. The cemetery is built on the side of the ridge, with countless burials.
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The entire side of the ridge are burials.

If you were to take them all away, the ridge would almost turn into a cliff! I cant even imagine.

My trip was coming to an end, a gloomy end after seeing all of the burials on the ridge.

The thought of how much life was lost was insane.

The amount of courage that Pfc. Doss must of had, the dedication and commitment he had to his company and his country.

Pfc. Doss died March 23, 2006 after being hospitalized for difficulty breathing. He was buried on April 3rd, in the National Cemetery in Chattanooga Tennessee. Pfc Doss is survived by his son Desmond "Tommy" Doss jr.

Thank you for reading, and once again if you have any questions please ask!

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[email protected], very nice place and very nice post, you coniugate tourism, sport and hystory in one time!

That was a lovely journey you did! Going back to a place where a lot or rather quite a big thing that had happened.. a place that had mark our history is a very great place to visit..

It was nice seeing that what was once a battlefield was now all greeny and more alive..

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It was crazy how it was all Overgrown wasn't it? My favorite picture is the before and after. To see what it was actually like back then. Crazy!

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Yessssss! I definitely love that too.. its another entry for the hope is not lost at all.

It always a happy thought knowing what the remains had become today.

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Wow! I think choosing to explore this area by bike was the best decision you could have made. It's amazing how beautiful this atea now looks. What was once a place of pain and misery is now filled with pictureque viewx and so much natural beauty. Although reminder of thr past is still memorialized, because we need to remember the past. I also just see it as a symbol of hope, for after suffering wr can recover and be beautiful again!

Yes! Wow what an amazing comment thankyou so much!! Thankyou for choosing to read it! It means a lot thankyou!

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No bro!! Thank you for posting!! Is reading not a another way of travelling and seeing the world? I might not ever get there but thanks to you i have seen a small glimpse of a piece of history progressed positively. We always reading about all the bad. So this give me hope that all our stories can end beautifully!! Keep on putting your best into your writing!!

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@procaptainjoe It's historic, he saved 50 or 100 wow soldiers he did not know. I have not seen the movie but after reading this, it motivates me to see it, on the other hand, where the battle took place after more than 73 years. How beautiful, I hope that one day of my life I have the opportunity to visit

The cool thing is, is that all around the world there are places like these that altered the course of history, it just takes a different perspective! Thanks for your comment it means alot when people actually read my post and have something nice to say!

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Oh wow, that’s cool dude. Awesome pics. I didn’t see that when I was there.

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I would say you should of come on deployment with us but you're in a better place!

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When you return from that trip, you surely were not the same. How strong that story. I love visiting those types of places that allow you to know a little more historically.

Yeah they are awesome. The crazy thing is there are places all over the world where huge battles were fought. Even in our own backyards weather they were recorded or not in the history books
Thanks for your comment!!

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Wowwww! I have not seen the movie but I'm definitely going to write down that recommendation, I have to see it. I'm a history lover so I know I'll like it.

Oh you will! And then after come look at the pictures again. It'll blow your mind!

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Things will changed 75 years is very long, even nowadays within 2-3years places will have changed.
The world is advancing.

Oh my. Gosh I know right. Where I used to live in Texas it was a one road farm to market road to school and the stores, now it's like a 4 lane highway....

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I haven't watch the movie yet but because of your post I am going to. Thanks for sharing the photos.

Make sure you do. Andrew Garfield who played Mr. Doss did a fantastic job, even his son Desmond doss Jr said Andrew Garfield captured his personality and who he was PERFECTLY

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My friend i must say thank you, one of my dream its to visit all those places that were involved in to the WW. It's truly a miracle to see how the nature is, it can take the ruin and convert it in life and some thing so beatiful that you cannot imagine that in that place a massacre was happen time a go.

This kind of miracle remind me that in this life the only thing that remain after our death its what we do for help to our people.

Thank you.

Yeah I totally belive that. I hope I can leave behind something amazing for my family and loved ones!

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I saw the film and it's quite interesting to see the battlefield in real life.
If i ever come to Okinawa i will definitely go there and visit it.

Good story and nice pictures btw :)

yeah its pretty awesome. and than you! yeah i need to rewatch the movie, i watched it when it came out but haven't seen it since! should of watched it right before i went up there yeah?!

Who could say that where there was so much trajedy death and destruction today was a natural spectacle, I regret so much death in those warlike conflicts ... But it is true that nature is wise and perfect and after a storm and a dark night, there will always be a beautiful sunrise. Thanks for your pictures

Wow that's a comment right there. Thankyou so much, you're completely true! After war something will always come back after it that is beautiful. Weather it be nature, or peace or you're right. A beautiful sunrise.

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The movie was very informative. As well as the collection of items from that time period. The ability to walk the grounds and just being in an area where history was made is a wonderful experience I'm sure.

We hope to see more post like this. Thank you for the opportunity to be apart of your informative bounty.

Yeah I just made a post not to long ago about iwo jima also where I was able to go if you want to take a look at that also! Thanks for your comment! I appreciate it. In iwo jima I found a bullet, completely in tact!

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Oh wow, that’s cool dude. Awesome pics. I didn’t see that when I was there.

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i didn't see this movie but i read this article and its looks so much inspirational now i will watch this movie as well thank you for sharing such an amazing content!

This is a good trip. I admire him. He is very brave. Saving 50-100 soliders is really great job.

That´s a very cool place, specially the museum

Hello @procaptainjoe, a very nice and very nice place, you drive tourism, sport and history in one go!, Oh wow, that's great friend. Incredible photos I did not see it when I was there. What was once a place of pain and misery is now full of panoramic images and so much natural beauty.

Wow, what a fantastic post... I like the detailed historical information and the explanation of the medals 👍🏻