Originally Posted by motomac
Cosmo with Admiral Nimitz in Fredericksburg TX.
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American Admiral Chester Nimitz reflected on the incredible sacrifice of the Marines who fought at Iwo Jima by saying, “Uncommon valor was a common virtue.”
The Battle of Iwo Jima has become etched in the historical memory of Americans largely because of the iconic photograph taken soon after its conclusion by photographer Joe Rosenthal. The photo derives power from more than its stunning visual image. It conveys the struggle and ultimate victory of U.S. Marines who played a critical role in bringing the catastrophic destruction of World War II to an end less than six months later.
This battle came at an extraordinary cost to the United States; nearly seven thousand dead, almost six thousand of which were Marines. Iwo Jima remains the costliest battle in the history of the U.S. Marine Corps and represented approximately one third of the entire Marine death toll during World War II.
Nimitz’s quote of memorial is particularly relevant now. Former Associated Press photo editor Hal Buell, whose 2006 book, Uncommon Valor, Common Virtue examines the Battle of Iwo Jima and its famous photograph, provides compelling commentary in this Time.com video that has been posted in conjunction with Time’s cover story on actor Tom Hanks and his role as executive producer HBO miniseries, “The Pacific,” which began last Sunday. In the video, Buell refers to the controversy Rosenthal dealt with resulting from the popular misconception that he had staged this picture.
This series and the attention it will attract is perhaps the last great attempt to honor the Americans who served at Iwo Jima, in the Pacific theater, and elsewhere during World War II while they are still alive. According to the Veterans Administration’s National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics, there are approximately 2,272,000 living American veterans of World War II and about 850 die per day.