How could I write about anything else on February 23 other than the American Flag being raised on Iwo Jima? You are no doubt familiar with the amazing picture taken by AP reporter Joe Rosenthal. It depicts the second American Flag that was raised on Iwo Jima. Rosenthal was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his work. The photograph later served as the basis for the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery. Unfortunately, I cannot post Rosenthal’s picture because of copyright restrictions. The attached photo is of the Marine Corps War Memorial.
Of those shown in the photograph, three men survived the battle: Cpl. Ira Hayes, Cpl. Rene Gagnon, and Navy Pharmacist’s Mate John Bradley. Sadly, the other three perished. Their names were Sgt. Michael Strank, Cpl Horlon Block, and PFC Franklin Sousley.
Iwo Jima, which measures only 2 miles by 4 miles in length, was the site of one of the Marine Corps bloodiest battles on record. It began on February 19, 1945, and the island was pronounced secured on March 16, 1945. 6,825 valiant Marines lost their lives, and more than 20,000 brave Marines were injured. Almost all of the 22,000 Japanese soldiers stationed on the island died in the battle. This battle resulted in 27 Medal of Honor recipients which is more than in any other in Marine Corps History. Iwo Jima went on to become the landing site for B-29 bombers, and it was critical in preparation for the invasion of Okinawa.
I hope you will indulge me for posting two other photos today. The first is a picture of the American Memorial on Mount Suribachi. The second is the British Homage to those who died. God Bless all those who took part in this battle, as well as all of the other brave men and women who have served in the United States Marine Corps.
American Memorialon Mt Suribachi
Iro Jima Homage – British Memorial on Iwo Jima