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Monday, August 21, 2006

Joe Rosenthal Dies at 94

Joe Rosenthal, the photographer who photographed the raising of the American flag on Mount Suribachi, died at age 94. Maybe not a hero, but close.

As a Marine, the Marine Corps War Memorial is awe inspiring. I have visited it many timesand will never tire of seeing a sunset parade with the Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps, along with the Silent Drill team performing. It makes even Marines stand a little straighter.

The photo was actually the second time the flag was raised. The first flag wasn't large enough, so the Marines had to go back and raise another one. The photo is symbolic of the patriotism and sacrifice that American's endured to end evil.

It is a place of honor for the Marines and Corpsman that raised the flag. Three of them died later on the island. It presents an image of a hard fought campaign, closing when the victor plants his flag on the hill. I wish that everyone would see the current evil in the same light.

A tribute to Joe Rosenthal who captured the moment, even though the one we all know was staged - he captured the first flag being raised as Marines took fire to get it up there. The first one was a moment of passion, and no one knew it was a photo moment. Secretary of the Navy James V. Forrestal declared "This means there will be a Marine Corps for the next 500 years". I hope he was right.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Rosenthal.

3 Posts From Readers:

The Future Was Yesterday said...

The "current evil" has no hill to claim for victory, as I know you know. It's a fight for minds, beliefs, and to paraphrase an Army General; "To see who's God is greater."

But even that not withstanding, wouldn't our efforts be better served fighting in the country that provided all but three of the terrorists that attacked our homeland, and the world wide leader of terrorism? Yes, there is a "war" going on in Pakistan - a "spit and sputter" one. Meanwhile, we waste precious resources in Iraq, while the acknowledged kingpin of terrorism walks free. When the President started bombing the crap out of Pakistan, I was on my feet cheering. But when he started bombing Iraq, I was on my feet sneering, because he walked away from the real fight.

No one I've ever heard or read, disputes terrorism is a national threat. But a war in a country that was never a threat, will only draw terrorists from all over the middle east, as we've seen. That accomplishes nothing but a personal agenda.

The "hill" to be claimed for this administration will be the dead body of Osama. Anything else will be failure. And we are failing. I don't like that, as a veteran of Vietnam, I hate it....but none of my feelings change reality. I too watched many of your marine comrades die.....and now I'm watching it again, in Vietnam II. And in both wars, for all the wrong reasons in the wrong place.

Robert said...

Future, I realize there is no hill to claim as victory. I don't think it is a war between religion, at least it wasn't intended that way. I view it as a war between civilizations. I am sure you remember a movie, but I can't rememebr the name of it at the moment. It is a movie where a modern aircraft carrier is warped through time back to pre-Pearl Harbor. So we have modern fighter jets, communication, weapons, and a knowledge of history.

Bascially that is what is happening in that part of the world. Modern weapons have netered a 7th century civilization, and they like it that way. The only manner in which they can assert 7th sentury values is through cowardly terrorism. We have to bring the region into themodern world, and it won't be easy.

As vets, we have seen things happen that were unnecesary because of politics. We disagree about the virtue of this current war. But I am sure the feelings inside about the country are the same, and we have both served because of them. Thank you for your service.

Robert said...

My proofreading seems about as effective as my typing. Everyone please forgive my clumsiness on the keyboard.

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