On February 23, 1945 (72 years ago today) a 40-man patrol of U.S. Marines, not knowing if they would reach the top or not, summited the 545-foot extinct, volcano of Mount Suribachi and raised the first American flag over Japanese soil. Later, a second Marine patrol reached the top and raised a second, larger flag so the entire island could see the stars and stripes waving in the wind. Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal, who witnessed the flag raising said, “The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next five hundred years.”
Display of small Marine Corps, Navy and one Coast Guard emblems representing all those Marine, Navy and Coast Guard personnel who lost their lives during the battle of Iwo Jima at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia. This week marks the 72nd anniversary of the battle.