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It was just 75 years ago today, February 23, 1945, when the American Flag was raised on the top of Mt. Suribachi on the island of Iwo Jima. Now, this was not the first flag raising, instead it was the second. The reason why was because the first flag was too small, and hard to see as the battle was still ragging on the island in the shadow of Suribachi. As the flag was being raised, photographer Joe Rosenthal snapped what would become perhaps one of the most famous photos of World War II. Still today, you can see it in many forms, including the Marine Corps War Memorial in Washington D.C. You can also watch the colored film of the flag raising by photographer Sgt. William Genaust, who sadly, like many others, was killed later in the fighting around Iwo.
Rosenthal’s photograph has caused great controversy as to who the men in the photograph actually were. Take a look at your libraries, because you have books that just might be wrong. Originally, the six flag raisers were Ira Hayes, John Bradley, Michael Strank, Franklin Sousley, Rene Gagnon, and Harlon Block. However, recent evidence has identified John Bradley as Harold Schultz, and Rene Gagnon as Harold Keller. Sadly, Strank, Block, and Sousley were all killed later in the battle. In any case, each man was, is a hero, and so this article is to them, and all others that are never recognized for the heroism.
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