Wizards of Oz

"Life is fraughtless ... when you're thoughtless."


A Marine Corps for the next 500 years!

Today is the 63rd anniversary of the legendary flag raising atop Suribachi-san in the black volcanic rock of Iwo Jima. Operation Detachment, the U.S. mission to capture the airfields on this 5,000 acre island approximately 700 miles south of Tokyo, commenced four days earlier (19 February 1945) -- and continued for another month after these five Marines and a Navy corpsman were photographed by Joe Rosenthal. Today, the island is called Iwo To (which was it's name to its residents before World War II, but many Japanese misprounced the character "To" as "Jima").

Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal was inspecting Green Beach on Iwo Jima the morning of 23 February 1945. When the flag was raised, he turned to Marine General H. M. "Howlin' Mad" Smith and said, "The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next five hundred years!"

Joe Rosenthal's photo has been immortalized as the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. Note that three of the flag raisers did not survive the subsequent fighting on the island; their stories are poignantly told in the book Flags of our Fathers by James Bradley (son of PM2 John H. Bradley, the Navy Corpsman in the photo).

Semper Fidelis!



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home