Semper Fi: Battle of Iwo Jima - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, March 31, 2020
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Semper Fi: Battle of Iwo Jima

NEWLY DIGITIZED FOOTAGE SHOWS A MARINE’S-EYE VIEW

Today is the 75-year anniversary of the U.S. Marines raising the flag on the Pacific island of Iwo Jima while battling the Imperial Japanese Army in WWII.

The fight for the island had begun many months earlier and had included merciless shelling of the Japanese soldiers who occupied the island. Of the American men who raised the flag atop Mount Suribachi, three died in the continuing battle and three continued fighting on.

The picture, taken by Associated Press war photographer Joe Rosenthal, would become a symbol of American power and our fighting force’s unbreakable spirit. The photograph became a symbol of America’s courage, and the Associated Press relinquished the copyright, placing it in the public domain.

[Read: Recently digitized photos of American Marines on Iwo Jima]

The image became the model for the Marine Corps War Memorial in Washington, D.C, which is dedicated to Marines who died for their country.

Newly digitized footage from the landing and battle show what it was like for the Marines 75 years ago as they landed, fought, and buried their dead:

(Editor’s note: If you have family memories about the Battle for Iwo Jima, please add them in the comment section. Thank you. – sd)

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • What a wonderful story to keep the events of today in perspective. That war found Americans to be up to the task. Today we find Americans, including Alaskans, entirely spoiled and often uninformed. In the Juneau Empire last week an indigenous woman called the Alaska Marine Highway System budget reductions genocide. The Americans who defended America against the Empire of Japan and the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (aka Nazis) knew about genocide; sad that a T-H woman has learned so little history. Possibly we can blame that on Alaska schools. In the Juneau Empire of today Rich Moniak, a regular columnist, says that Alaska voters are too stupid to be trusted with a vote on the PFD and state spending, but his column is so full of misspellings and typographical errors that any reader can correctly wonder just where stupidity might be found. Moniak does however (from previous columns) believe that Alaska voters can decide on oil tax policy. Don’t worry, like it or not, the Juneau Empire is down for the count.

    • You yourself suggest that Alaskans are often uninformed, which was Moniak’s main point and why he feels that voters should not be trusted to fix the budget. Of course you would like it both ways but that’s a hard task IMO.
      But what does this have to do with the above article?

  • I remember talking with a friend in Haines, AK who was in Army in the Pacific who was in charge of keeping safe their Asian interpreters from the Marines who wanted to kill them. They were trying to get Japanese soldiers to surrender from caves and other hiding places during mopping up phases. If they wouldn’t come out they were napalmed.
    Fascinating stories back in the 60s from a guy who was there.

    • And your point? Is that a criticism of the USMC?

      • There was no point Gregory-just a story from someone who was there. The situation was one where a lot of marines had seen a lot of their buddies killed and they weren’t particularly interested in who were the good guys (in this case). I suspect the higher ups knew that to trust that safekeeping to other marines was full of risk but for whatever reason it was given to US Army. Tough call, for sure.

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