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.