Lest We Forget the Cost of our Freedom
Pulitzer Prize winning photo by AP photographer, Joe Rosenthal.
Iwo Jima is an island that is 4 miles long and 2 miles wide, just one in a group that the Marines were taking control of in 1945.? Expecting to take this island in about a week as they had the others, they landed on Iwo Jima on February 19.
At first everything was very quiet, but within minutes they were under fire from the Japanese.? It was a volcanic island which had allowed the Japanese to build numerous underground tunnels that ran from one concrete pill box to the next.? The island had airfields that were very important to the US in the war effort.? Capturing the island saved approximately 20,000 men in the air corps.
Today, February 23, is the 60th anniversary of the raising of the American flag on Mount Suribachi on the southern tip of the island, but the battle raged on for a total of 36 days.? More than 6,800 American servicemen died, which was approximately one-third of all the Marines killed in W.W.II, and an additional 19,000 were wounded.? The Japanese who intended to fight to their death lost 20,000 men, only 1,000 were taken prisoners.
On November 11, 1954, the 179th anniversary of the US Marine Corps, President Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicated the statue of the flag raising at Iwo Jima to all the Marines who have given their lives in defense of the Unites States since 1775.
Photograph by Steve Hudson
Located in Arlington, VA
The Statue Inscription Reads:
"UNCOMMON VALOR WAS A COMMON VIRTUE."
For Further Details On The Battle At Iwo Jima