Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Andrei The raising of the Stars and Stripes sixty-five years ago

Five days into the battle for Iwo Jima, on the 23rd of February 1945, the flag was raised on Mount Suribachi by the US Marine Corps.

A few hours later a replacement flag raised by another group of marines.

This second Flag raising was photographed by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal who captured one of the most celebrated images of the Twentieth Century.

A Marine Corps cinematographer was filming beside him - below is that clip.

There were six Flag raisers, Franklin Sousley, Harlon Block, and Michael Strank who died during the battle and the three survivors John Bradley, Rene Gagnon, and Ira Hayes who were returned to the United States and sent on a War Bond drive.

Their story is told in the Clint Eastwood film Flags of Our Fathers derived from a book of the same name written by James Bradley, a son of John Bradley, one of the Flag raisers.

5 comment(s):

KG said...

I just read again the story of Iwo Jima. The casualties on both sides were staggering. Yet the same Marines went on to do the same thing again and again.

JC said...

I'm getting old..

I first read a short novel on Ira Hayes back in the 1960s, from memory in the famous condensed story section of a Readers Digest.

My recollection is the Marines and AP wanted to film the flag raising, even though it had already occurred, and a handful of men were drafted in to make it happen.. as in "Ira, get over there and help out".

It was a sad story, but as I was to quickly find out early in my career, a very familiar one for young Maori entering the workforce in those days.


Andrei said...

Not quite right JC - the real story behind that flag raising and the photograph is far more compelling than the creation of a photo opportunity, which for some reason became an urban legend surrounding it.

Here is wikipedea's take on it

Incidentally the man who shot the film clip used in this post, Bill Genaust, also lost his life during this battle

DaveB said...

I first heard of Ira Hayes from Johnny Cash. People who do great things sometimes sad endings http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdNV9JX-Xi8

What was done said...

Getting old is only in our mind.
Age never prevented people from doing things:

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