By Michael French
Now abridged for kids, Flags of Our Fathers is the unforgettable chronicle of maybe the main recognized second in American army background: the elevating of the U. S. flag at Iwo Jima. this is the genuine tale in the back of the immortal picture that has come to represent the braveness and indomitable will of the USA.
In February 1945, American Marines plunged into the surf at Iwo Jima--and into heritage. The son of 1 of the flag raisers has written a robust account of six very assorted males who got here jointly within the heroic conflict for the Pacific's most important island.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Extra info for Flags of Our Fathers. Heroes of Iwo Jima
I was with the victorious [Company E,] who reached the top of Mt. Suribachi first. ” The “happiest moment” of his life? What a shock! If it made him so happy, why didn’t he ever talk about it? Did something happen either on Iwo Jima or in the intervening years to cause his silence? Over the next few weeks I found myself staring at the photo on my office wall, daydreaming. Who were those boys with their hands on that pole? Were they like my father? Had they known one another before that moment or were they strangers united by a common duty?
He is the most identifiable of the six figures, the only one whose profile is visible. I pointed next to a figure on the far side of John Bradley. Rene Gagnon, the handsome mill hand from New Hampshire, stood shoulder to shoulder with my dad in the photo, but he is mostly obscured by my father. I gestured to the figure on the far right of the image, the leaning, thrusting soldier jamming the base of the pole into the hard Suribachi ground. His right shoulder is nearly level with his knee. His buttocks strain against his fatigues.
It gave them a kind of immortality—a faceless immortality. The flag raising on Iwo Jima became a symbol of the island, the mountain, the battle; of World War II; of the highest ideals of the nation; of valor itself. It became everything except the salvation of the boys who performed it. For these six, history had a different, special destiny that no one could have predicted, least of all the flag raisers themselves. My father, John Henry Bradley, returned home to small-town Wisconsin after the war.