Who Fought For Our Freedom and Independence
Three Marines depicted in the photograph, Sergeant Michael Strank, Corporal Harlon Block, and Private First Class Franklin Sousley were killed in action over the next few days. The three surviving flag-raisers were Private First Class Rene Gagnon, Private First Class Ira Hayes, and Private First Class Harold Schultz who was not identified as being in the photograph until June 2016.
The image was later used by Felix de Weldon to sculpt the Marine Corps War Memorial which was dedicated in 1954 to all Marines who died for their country past and present, and is located adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery just outside Washington, D.C.
An unassuming little man, scarred by enemy fire, a man that proudly served.
We met at the fourth of July Parade, dressed in uniform to honour his unit,
To me he was no longer a little old man,
I saw a tall HERO
the respect due our veterans