On this day in history 1945 the United States raised the American flag on Iwo Jima. There were actually 2 flag raisings. The famous picture was actually taken of the second flag raising later that day by Joe Rosenthal of the Associated Press. The first flag raising was of a smaller flag. To take a look at the time line of this battle go here .
The American boys had killed about 21,000 Japanese, but suffered more than 26,000 casualties doing so. This would be the only battle in the Pacific where the invaders suffered higher casualties than the defenders
The Marines fought in World War II for forty-three months. Yet in one month on Iwo Jima, one third of their total deaths occurred. They left behind the Pacific's largest cemeteries: nearly 6,800 graves in all; mounds with their crosses and stars. Thousands of families would not have the solace of a body to bid farewell just the abstract information that the Marine had 'died in the performance of his duty' and was buried in a plot, aligned in a row the numbers on his grave...
Bradley, James. Flags of Our Fathers (New York: Bantam Books, 2000), pp 246-247.
(Originally posted on my Yahoo 360 blog)