Wednesday, March 01, 2006

USS Iwo Jima Honors Historic Flag Raising

The crew of USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) braved the early morning chill and assembled on the ship’s flight deck to honor a very special morning colors ceremony. The event marked 61 years since the historic flag-raising atop Mt. Suribachi during the epic Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945.
“We’ve gathered here to remember the brave sacrifices made by the heroes of Iwo Jima,” remarked Iwo Jima Commanding Officer, Capt. Richard S. Callas. “That very famous image of ‘Old Glory’ going up is instantly recognizable, and serves to remind us of the very proud heritage we strive to be worthy of.” After four days of bloody fighting on the tiny Pacific island at approximately 10:30 a.m., Feb. 23, 1945, Marines from Easy Company, 2/28 raised the American flag over Mt. Suribachi, signaling the capture of the strategic position.
USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7)
“It was an honor to be part of this detail,” said Iwo Jima plankowner, Quartermaster 3rd Class Alistar Balfour. “That flag on Mt. Suribachi meant so much to the guys who fought at Iwo Jima, and it’s worth remembering what they did to ensure we still raise it today.”

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