The program booklet for the Association’s first annual Convention held August 5th and 6th, 1949, in Philadelphia, stated:
“We, former members of the 5th Marine Division and attached units of the Fleet Marine Force, U.S. Marine Corps, have established a permanent organization in order that we may be of greater service to our Country and to one another, to promote the interest and welfare of former members of the Division, and in order to perpetuate the name, glory, and spirit of the 5th Marine Division.”
Lt. General Keller Rockey, first president of the FMDA, and one-time Commander of the Fifth Marine Division, said in his welcoming message, “I am inspired to realize that the bonds forged amongst the fighting men of the 5th Marine Division have not dissolved, though you now are spread far and wide following a thousand different pursuits far afield from camps and training, combat, transports, and occupation duty. I look forward to this group aiding, nay more, leading the way, in fulfilling their obligations and responsibilities to country, home and family, and trust that this Association shall be as strong and successful in peace as the Division was in war. May the attainment of all our hopes follow this reunion, and let us meet year after year to perpetuate the thoughts and feelings that have brought us together now.”
Iwo Jima was and is still an incredible symbol of America, both for the U.S. Marine Corps and for the country.