1945 – For three days, the men of Company E, Second Battalion, Twenty-eighth Marines, had fought their way to the top of Mount Suribachi, a 550-foot-high extinct volcano at the southern end of the island of Iwo Jima. They first raised a small flag to signal their victory and a larger flag later.
In Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal’s Pulitzer Prize picture of the six men raising this second flag, 21 year old Cpl. Harlon Block from Weslaco, Texas, was the stooping figure guiding the base of the flagpole into the volcanic ash. Sadly, he never saw the famous picture as he was killed in action on March 1st that year as his unit advanced in the direction of Mishi Ridge.
While in Harlingen, Texas last fall for business, I had the pleasure of visiting the Iwo Jima Memorial located at the Marine Military Academy, where 100% of their graduates are accepted into colleges or universities. The memorial of that iconic photo is breathtaking and is a must see in Texas.
What is your favorite military memorial in Texas?
“Give me an army of West Point graduates and I’ll win a battle. Give me a handful of Texas Aggies, and I’ll win the war.” ~ General George S. Patton