73rd Anniversary of Mount Suribachi flag raising

| February 23, 2018 | 23 Comments

Mick reminds us that today is the 73rd anniversary of the raising of the flag on Mount Suribachi, the highest peak on the island of Iwo Jima. From the History channel;

During the bloody Battle for Iwo Jima, U.S. Marines from the 3rd Platoon, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Regiment of the 5th Division take the crest of Mount Suribachi, the island’s highest peak and most strategic position, and raise the U.S. flag. Marine photographer Louis Lowery was with them and recorded the event. American soldiers fighting for control of Suribachi’s slopes cheered the raising of the flag, and several hours later more Marines headed up to the crest with a larger flag. Joe Rosenthal, a photographer with the Associated Press, met them along the way and recorded the raising of the second flag along with a Marine still photographer and a motion-picture cameraman.

Rosenthal took three photographs atop Suribachi. The first, which showed five Marines and one Navy corpsman struggling to hoist the heavy flag pole, became the most reproduced photograph in history and won him a Pulitzer Prize. The accompanying motion-picture footage attests to the fact that the picture was not posed. Of the other two photos, the second was similar to the first but less affecting, and the third was a group picture of 18 soldiers smiling and waving for the camera. Many of these men, including three of the six soldiers seen raising the flag in the famous Rosenthal photo, were killed before the conclusion of the Battle for Iwo Jima in late March.

Category: We Remember

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  1. Late Night With In The Mailbox: 02.23.18 : The Other McCain | February 24, 2018
  1. Atkron says:

    Semper Fi Marines!

    Glad you’re on our side.

  2. Graybeard says:

    I hear “The Ballad of Ira Hayes” playing in my head.

    The stories behind the photograph need to be remembered, for to me it makes the photograph all that more powerful.

  3. JacktheJarhead says:

    “The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a MARINE CORPS for the next 500 years.” – JAMES FORRESTAL, SECRETARY OF THE NAVY

  4. Wilted Willy says:

    I’ll be saying a prayer for all of them.
    May God Bless you all!

  5. Combat Historian says:

    All due honors to the valiant Marines of the 3d, 4th, and 5th Marine Divisions for taking part in one of the bloodiest and most vicious engagements in the history of the U.S Marines and of WWII.

    Appropriate honors also due to the men of the Army 147th Infantry Regiment, who arrived to garrison the island after it was officially declared “secure”, but had to continue the bloody fighting for another three months. Although this was officially called “mop-up”, the fighting was no less vicious as that encountered by the Marines earlier, and resulted in the 147th killing several thousand more die-hard Japanese defenders in caves and tunnels.

  6. Deckie says:

    My father’s side of the family is from Jarabina, Slovakia where Sgt. Mike Strank was born. They even erected a monument to him there back around 2001 and I had just missed the day they dedicated it while visiting relatives. Still have Stranks in my family and this photo always makes me proud.

    A few years back when some douchebags photoshopped it in the name of diversity to be a bunch of men raising a gay pride flag it made my blood boil something fierce…

  7. USMC Steve says:

    A couple of comments. Soldiers was mentioned in the article, but no soldiers were on Iwo. Also, most may know that Doc Bradley has been positively identified as not being among the flag raisers. Another Marine was the sixth flag raiser, and he lived through the war.

  8. Sparks says:

    God bless our Marines! God rest those men who died there well.

  9. Sgt Fon says:

    Before the ships came to take them away, those men who were left in the Fifth Division went to their cemetery to attend memorial services for those who lay buried there. There were many speeches, but the man who spoke most eloquently was a Jewish chaplain from New York City, Lieutenant Roland B. Gittelsohn. These were his words:

    This is the grimmest, and surely the holiest, task we have faced since D-day. Here before us lie the bodies of comrades and friends. Men who until yesterday or last week laughed with us, joked with us, trained with us. Men who were on the same ships with us, and went over the side with us as we prepared to hit the beaches of this island. Men who fought with us and feared with us. Somewhere in this plot of ground there may lie the man who could have discovered the cure for cancer. Under one of these Christian crosses, or beneath a Jewish Star of David, there may rest now a man who was destined to be a great prophet to find the way, perhaps, for all to live in plenty, with poverty and hardship for none. Now they lie silently in this sacred soil, and we gather to consecrate this earth to their, memory.

    It is not easy to do so. Some of us have buried our closest friends here. We saw these men killed before our very eyes. Any one of us might have died in their places; Indeed, some of us are alive and breathing at this very moment only because the men who lie here beneath us had the courage and the strength to give their lives, for ours. To speak in memory of such men as these is not easy. Of them too it can be said with utter truth: The world will little note nor long remember what we say here. It can never forget what they did here.

    No, our power of speech can add nothing more to what these men and the other dead of our Division have already done. All that we can even hope to do is follow their example. To show the same selfless courage in peace that they did in war. To swear that by the grace of God and the stubborn strength and power of human will, their sons and ours shall never suffer these pains again. These men have done their job well. They have paid the ghastly price for freedom. If that freedom be once again lost, as it was after the last war, the unforgivable blame will be ours, not theirs. So it is we the living who are to be dedicated and consecrated.

    We dedicate ourselves, first, to live together in peace the way we fought and are buried in this war. Here lie men who loved America because their ancestors generations ago helped in her founding, and other men who loved her with equal passion because they themselves or their own fathers escaped from oppression to her blessed shores.

    Here lie officers and men, Negroes and whites, rich and poor together. Here no man prefers another because of his faith or despises him because of his color. Here there are no quotas of how many men from each group are admitted or allowed. Among these men there is no discrimination, no prejudices, no hatred. Theirs is the highest and purest Democracy.

    Any man among us the living who fails to understand that will thereby betray those who lie here dead. Whoever of us lifts his hand in hate against a brother, or thinks himself superior to those who happen to be in the minority, makes of this ceremony and of the bloody sacrifice it commemorates an empty, hollow mockery.

    To this, then, as our solemn, sacred duty, do we the living now dedicate ourselves: to the right of Protestants, Catholics, and Jews, of white men and Negroes alike, to enjoy the Democracy for which all of them here have paid the price.

    To one thing more do we consecrate ourselves in memory of those who sleep beneath these white crosses and stars. We shall not foolishly suppose, as did the last generation of Americas fighting men, that victory on the battlefield will automatically guarantee the triumph of Democracy at home.. This war, with all its frightful heartache and suffering, is but the beginning of our generations struggle for Democracy. When the last battle has been won, there will be those at home, as there were the last time, who will want us to turn our backs in selfish isolation on the rest of organized humanity, and thus to sabotage the very peace for which we fight. We promise you who lie here: We will not do that! We will join hands with Britain, China, Ria, in peace, even as we have in war, to build the kind of peace for which you died.

    When the last shot has been fired, there will still be those whose eyes are turned backward, not forward, who will be satisfied with those wide extremes of poverty and wealth in which the seeds of another war can breed. We promise you, our departed comrades: This too we will not permit. This war has been fought by the common man; its fruits of peace must be enjoyed by the common man. We promise, by all that is sacred and holy, that your sons, the sons of miners and millers, the sons of farmers and workers, will inherit from your death the right to a living that is decent and secure.

    When the final cross has been placed in the last cemetery, once again there will be those to whom profit is more important than peace, who will insist with the voice of sweet reasonableness and appeasement that it is better to trade with the enemies of mankind than, by crushing them, to lose their profit. To you who sleep here silently, we give you our promise: We will not listen! We will not forget that some of you were burnt with oil that came from American wells, that many of you were killed by shells fashioned from American steel; we promise that when once again men seek profit at your expense, we shall remember how you looked when we placed you reverently, lovingly, in the ground.

    Thus do we memorialize those who, having ceased living with us, now live within us. Thus do we consecrate ourselves, the living, to carry on the struggle they began. Too much blood has gone into this soil for us to let it lie barren. Too much pain and heartache have fertilized the earth on which we stand. We here solemnly swear: This shall not be in vain!

    Out of this, from the suffering and sorrow of those who mourn, this will come we promise the birth of a new freedom from the sons of men everywhere. AMEN.

    • Thunderstixx says:

      What a beautiful memorial to the men that deserved only the best that humanity had to offer, but were forced into the worst that the same humanity can force upon these brave souls.
      “They gave away their tomorrows, so that we could have our todays”…
      I don’t remember who said that, but it truly fits.
      Thank you for posting this Sgt Fon…

    • OldSoldier54 says:

      Holy Lord of Heaven. I wish the world had listened.

      Bless you, Rabbi. If you’ve gone to your reward, may His blessings pass to your House.

      Baruch HaShem Adonai

  10. bg2 says:

    God bless them all! Just seeing that photo and being reminded, gives me chills. I’m sure they raised -their- kids right.

  11. Club Manager, USA ret. says:

    WAR STORY ALERT: It was probably 73′ when I hitched a ride on an older prop job – either a 119 or converted B-29 from Guam to Yokota with a reserve crew taking the aircraft to the graveyard. Took three tries to get off of the runway. I was the only PAX and a crew member told me as we approached Mt. Suribachi. I had my trusty Nikon along and the pilot was gracious enough to bank so I could get a straight down photo. Now I have to go through my 33 mm slides and find it. A great moment in my life.

  12. borderbill (a NIMBY/BANANA) says:

    This photo always gets to me– Semper Fidelis!

  13. AW1Ed says:

    “Uncommon valor was a common virtue.”
    Admiral Chester Nimitz

  14. FatCircles0311 says:

    There is one hidden standard in the Corps that only Marines know about and that is to make sure your actions and results honor and live up to those Marines before you.

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