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Raising the American flag atop Mt. Suribachi Iwo Jima

The original photo

On this day in 1945 the 28th Marine Regiment raised the American flag atop of a key strategic point called Mt, Suribachi during the battle of Iwo Jima. On February 19, 1945 9,000 U.S. Marines began their amphibious assault on the heavily fortified island.  In the first day of intense fighting 500 Marines were killed and over 1,800 were wounded.  The fighting was extremely brutal for the next few days.  A key strategic position on the island called Mt. Suribachi was located in the center of Japanese defenses.  On the morning of the 23rd, 400 Marines worked their way towards the base of Mt. Suribachi; 40 of these Marines began to climb the mountain and by 10AM had reached the top of mountain made of volcanic ash.  After reaching the peak the Marines raised a small American flag.  The first picture of this historic moment was captured by Marine photographer Sgt. Louis R. Lowery.

AP photographer Joe Rosenthal and two other Marines later made their way to the top of Mt Suribachi after the original flag raising. Commanders decided to charge Rosenthal with taking a second photo of the flag raising event using a much larger flag with different Marines because the original Marines could not be located.  This is the photo that became the defining image of the war in the Pacific and helped Rosenthal win a Pulitzer Prize.  The Battle for Iwo Jima lasted for another 31 days after the raising of the American flag on Mt. Suribachi.  The image of the Marines raising the flag became one of the best known images of World War II


Liberty forever, freedom for all!


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