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    • Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima


      On February 23rd, 1945, one of the most iconic images in the history of the US Armed Forces was captured. Joe Rosenthal, a photographer on assignment for the Associated Press, captured the moment where six US Marines,  SGT Michael Strank (KIA), CPL. Harlon Block (KIA), PFC Harold Keller, PFC Franklin Sousley (KIA), PFC Harold Schultz, and PFC Ira Hayes planted and raised a second United States flag on top of the now conquered Mount Suribachi.


      Raising the First Flag on Iwo Jima by SSgt. Louis R. Lowery, USMC. Left to right: 1st Lt. Harold Schrier (kneeling behind radioman's legs), Pfc. Raymond Jacobs (radioman reassigned from F Company), Sgt. Henry "Hank" Hansen wearing cap, holding flagstaff with left hand), Platoon Sgt. Ernest "Boots" Thomas (seated), Pvt. Phil Ward (holding lower flagstaff with his right hand), PhM2c. John Bradley, USN (holding flagstaff with both hands, his right hand above Ward's right hand and his left hand below.), Pfc. James Michels (holding M1 Carbine), and Cpl. Charles W. Lindberg (standing above Michels).

      The battle from Iwo Jima raged from February 19th, 1945, until March 26th, 1945. The island was extremely flat, excluding the 169 meters (554 feet) tall Mount Suribachi in its southern tip, with 2 airfields around its central area. The Japanese forces were dug deep in the area, with several bunkers systems and connecting trenches, along with highly fortified positions with a tunnel system on mount Suribachi itself. After the flag's rising, there were still 3 days of fighting in Iwo Jima, and unfortunately, SGT Michael Strank, CPL Harlon Block, and PFC Franklin Sousley would not survive the final days of the battle.


      The six second flag-raisers: #1,CPL Harlon Block (KIA); #2, PFC Harold Keller; #3, PFC Franklin Sousley (KIA); #4, SGT Michael Strank (KIA); #5,PFC Harold Schultz #6, Pfc. Ira Hayes

      The flag-raising in Iwo Jima's photograph received the Pulitzer Prize for Photography still in 1945. But it would not be the only honor that Joe Rosenthal would receive from his work: In 1951, the US Congress approved the construction of a memorial for the US Marines Corps and commissioned a 10-meter tall statue based on Rosenthal's photography. On November 10th, 1954, the Marine Corps War Memorial was unveiled in Arlington Ridge Park, within the George Washington Memorial Parkway.


      Marine Corps War Memorial

      Marines, Semper Fi! Hooah!

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