Enduring Image; Iwo Jima Feb. 1945

Enduring Image; Iwo Jima Feb. 1945


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World War II  also known as the Second World War  was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, though related conflicts began earlier. It involved the vast majority of the world’s nations including all of the great powers eventually forming two opposing military alliances, the Allies and the Axis.  It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. Marked by mass deaths of civilians, including the Holocaust (during which approximately 11 million people were killed) and  (during which approximately one million people were killed, including the use of two nuclear weapons in combat, it resulted in an estimated 50 million to 85 million fatalities. These made World War II the deadliest conflict in human history.

Americans fought in the both Atlantic and Pacific theaters of war. In the Atlantic we fought to defeat Hitler and his Allies. Victory in Europe was in the Spring of 1945. In the Pacific we fought against the Japanese military empire. The Japanese would rather die then surrender. We fought using a strategy called island hopping.  Iwo Jima was one of the islands where we decided to fight the Japanese.  It was not an easy victory but it became a symbolic one. For more information see the video below. Victory in Japan was in August 1945 after President Truman made the decision to carry out the goals of the secret Manhattan Project and drop the Atomic Bomb on two Japanese cities killing thousands.



Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima has become a symbol of the American struggle in World War II and a symbol of the toughness of the US Marine Corps. The image is now a statue that shows the  five men raising the flag of the United States.   This shows how powerful war photography was in the 20th century.  In world War II the media was used to motivate but in later wars like Vietnam it was used to show the ugliness of war and led to war protest at home. This famous photo was so influential that it became forever remembered in a large bronze sculpture in Arington, VA.  Felix de Weldon sculpted the Marine Crops War Memorial and this image was dedicated to all the Marines that fought in the past and future.