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Honoring the greatest generation

On February 16, 1945, the United States Navy and Marine Corps began a three-day bombardment of the Japanese stronghold island of Iwo Jima. On February 23, the American flag was raised atop Mount Suribachi, and on March 26, the island was declared secured.

And it was on February 19 -- 60 years ago today -- that the first Americans landed on Iwo Jima.

The raising of that flag created one of the most iconic images out of World War II. Last Memorial Day, I wrote this piece about two of the men shown in that photo. One of them was the tragic Ira Hayes, and another was Manchester, New Hampshire's native son Rene Gagnon.

Shortly after writing that, I went down to the monument to Gagnon with my cheap digital camera. I never got around to posting any of those photos, but on this day, the 60th anniversary of the invasion of Iwo Jima, I am taking the opportunity to do so now.

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3


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Comments (25)

Gung Ho! As a former grunt ... (Below threshold)
Rod Stanton:

Gung Ho! As a former grunt I ask you show the JFK version of the flag raising so all can be aware of why Jareheads hate him!
Ex Jarehaed

Makes me proud.I w... (Below threshold)
Rob Hackney:

Makes me proud.

I was so glad to be part of the payback for what they did to us at Pearl Harbor.

My grandson tells me they don't even teach that they started the war over there though. Which means we'll have to do the whole damn thing over again one day I suspect.

No one can detract from the... (Below threshold)

No one can detract from the bravery and sacrifice of our veterans of WW2. That being said they had an advantage that has not been possessed by any soldier since. An undivided committed political leadership. The key was "Unconditional Surrender" and a declaration of war declared by the congress. It would be inconseivable to a marine on Iwo Jima that his country might abandon him there. President Truman looked at the prospect of invading a nation of suiciders and nuked them into the dust. It was almost 50 years before anyone questioned the wisdom of this act. Even today these revisionist are viewed by the majority of the american people as ...well....moonbats.

FREEDOM - Thanks to the Gre... (Below threshold)
Ron Wright:

FREEDOM - Thanks to the Greatest Generation for Perserving It.

Read this essay and more:

Link Here

wow, a vile warmongering ne... (Below threshold)

wow, a vile warmongering neocon celebrates imperialism. no much has changed in the last fifty years. the rightwing still stinks of the napalm dropped on innocent japanese.

No Japanese were "innocent"... (Below threshold)
Rob Hackney:

No Japanese were "innocent" back then you idiot. They were all mindless thralls willing to die for their emperor.

We SAVED MILLIONS OF THEIR LIVES by finding a way to end the war without invading the mainland.

I came home alive becuase of this too, so spare me your BLEEDING HEART LIBERAL THEATRICS!

Napalm in WW2? Somebody got... (Below threshold)

Napalm in WW2? Somebody got his history education from John Kerry.

Jay: I click on your pictur... (Below threshold)

Jay: I click on your picture links and I get white pages. Is it something that I said?

McGehee, did a quick intern... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

McGehee, did a quick internet search. Napalm was produced in spring of 1945 by Dupont and Standard Oil. As far as I am concerned, they used it in WWII, killed some Japs, and hastened the end to WWII, good deal.

How do moonbats define impe... (Below threshold)

How do moonbats define imperialism within the context of WW2? Just out of thin air.."imperialism!"...."neocon!"......bark!bark!bark!

I remember when I visited S... (Below threshold)

I remember when I visited Saipan (on my senior training cruise). It was amazing, they even had some tanks that were still sitting in the lagoon (american tanks). Point of note, The battles for Saipan and Tinian (two twin islands not 2 hundred yards from each other in the North Marianas islands) was famous, too. I visited suicide cliff, and it was pretty humbling.

What was really awesome, though, was that when we were there, we were lucky enough to be visiting during the 60th anniversary for the Battle for Saipan and Tinian!
The keynote speaker was the pilot of the Enola Gay!!!!! Hearing him speak...man it was awesome.

(For those who don't know, the Enola Gay was the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima-it took off from Tinian!)

My Dad didn't make Iwo, on... (Below threshold)

My Dad didn't make Iwo, one thing that he was both thankful for and somewhat ashamed of. He was still recovering from his wounds from Tarawa.
After his recovery his unit was training and planning for the invasion of the Japanese Home Islands. I doubt that there was a day that he didn't thank God that we got the bomb and used it.

Rob,right on, spank ... (Below threshold)

right on, spank those dirty japs. remember the famous GI song.

It amazes me that we lost o... (Below threshold)

It amazes me that we lost over 7,000 men in that one battle. Can you imagine if we had today's politicians back then? They'd go berserk on the floors of the Senate and the Congress.

Let's see. "no right turns.... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Let's see. "no right turns..."

1) We were fighting "Imperial Japan." They had the Empire, the Emperor, and all the fixin's. We had a democratically-elected Democrat as our head of state.

2) "Innocent Japanese." I presume, no, that you've never heard of things as the Rape of Nanking, the execution of the Doolittle Raiders, the Bataan Death March, or the countless other atrocities committed by the IJA and IJN. Educate yourself a smidgen -- you're embarassing yourself.

3) "vile warmongering neocon." Why, thank you. Such high praise makes me blush. Better stop, though -- people will talk.

4) Go be a pathetic little fuckwit somewhere else. We're trying to be respectful.


jim, librels are pussy, wha... (Below threshold)

jim, librels are pussy, what do you expect???

jaytea, yup, too bad... (Below threshold)

yup, too bad we didnt nuke tokyo insted of nuking some tiny cities.

folks, no right turn is a l... (Below threshold)

folks, no right turn is a librel idiot. be warned

One of my great-uncles was ... (Below threshold)

One of my great-uncles was a diver in the Navy during the Pacific campaigns. The only time I ever heard him speak of it was during the last part of the Clinton administration when he was trying to drum up support to invade Iraq. George talked a bit that night, about what it was like at Iwo and some of the other islands.

And he never spoke of it again.

mark, i have nothing but hi... (Below threshold)

mark, i have nothing but highest respects for ww2 vets, they are heros who saved the modern world.

Napalm was used by the Navy... (Below threshold)
Rod Stanton:

Napalm was used by the Navy to support Marines in WW2! I know from first hand accounts of 3 of my relatives who fought the Japs. Sometimes the media does not tell the truth.

After the MSM has been DISh... (Below threshold)
jo macDougal:

After the MSM has been DIShonoring them for 50 years it is about time to thank them.

Napalm was produced in s... (Below threshold)

Napalm was produced in spring of 1945 by Dupont and Standard Oil.

I stand corrected. But I still think "no right mind" was confusing WW2 and Vietnam.

Can you imagine being the c... (Below threshold)

Can you imagine being the commanding officer for this operation ? This was the proverbial "meat grinder". 7000 dead over a period of 35 days with almost 20,000 wounded. Would the press today have the fortitude to stick it out. How long before the term quagmire was used and withdrawal and surrender considered? Have we fallen so far from what was achieved 3 generations ago ? And remember this was but one battle not an entire war. Are we such pussies today ?

Ron Hackney... you idiot!!!... (Below threshold)

Ron Hackney... you idiot!!! How can you comfortably say that there were no innocent Japanese back then? Maybe we shouldv'e killed those who living in the Mainland U.S during the war as well. Better yet, we should've dropped a nuke on where they were at. The U.S. military is as guilty as the Japanese military in terms of war crimes. Remember, war begins with ignorance.






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