We invaded Iwo Jima seventy-five years ago in our drive to advance to the Japanese Home Islanders during World War II. Over 500 ships and 110,000 men would assault the tiny island. We lost one ship, with two others damaged, and nearly 20,000 of our men were injured. Nearly 7,000 died, including half of those in this immortal picture taken atop Mount Suribachi. It took over a month to kill 18,000 dug in Japanese defenders, and another three months to dig out most of the 3,000 that remained in hiding. The last two Japanese soldiers finally surrendered four years later.

Seventy-five years ago, the photographer nearly missed it because he was busy piling rocks when he realized the flag was going up. He grabbed his camera and snapped the photo without even taking time to look through the viewfinder. He just clicked it, hoped it came out, and his picture became one of the most famous photographs ever taken.