Thursday, January 31, 2008
On my way home from Sunday dinner at Mom and Dad's, I stopped at Fort Myer to take this picture of the Marine Corps War Memorial, which overlooks Washington, D.C. Sitting just west of the city on a gentle hill, the Marine Corps War Memorial is the monument that pays tribute to America's legendary armed fighting force, the United States Marines.
Based on a famous photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal on February 19, 1945 on the summit of Mount Suribachi on the Japanese island of Iwo Jima, the photo became the rallying point for war bonds drives in the United States. The story of the men who were featured in the February 19 photo is colorful. In truth, a flag was raised on Mount Suribachi 35 times over the course of several weeks. The one that made the papers was actually the second flag to be raised on the summit one day after the raising of the first flag.
The men depicted in this memorial became instant celebrities at home. Three of them, Sgt. Michael Strank, Cpl. Harlon Block, and Pfc. Franklin Sousley were later killed in action on Iwo Jima. Pfc. Rene Gagnon, Pfc. Ira Hayes, a Native American, and PhM. 2nd Class John Bradley, a Navy medic, were sent to tour the U.S. and encourage Americans to buy war bonds.
Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 1/08