Flag of our fathers

Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal immortalized himself on Feb. 23, 1945, when he took the famous flag-raising picture on Iowa Jima where more than 6,000 American troops died.

“’Millions of Americans saw this picture five or six days before I did, and when I first heard about it, I had no idea what picture was meant,’ he said.

"He added that if he had posed the flag-raising picture, as some skeptics have suggested over the years, ‘I would, of course, have ruined it’ by choosing fewer men and making sure their faces could be seen."

The six men who did the flag raising are immortalized in the picture, and the memorial built from it, but also in the recent book "Flags of Our Fathers," James Bradley’s narrative of his flag-raising father’s Marine rifle company on Iowa Jima. 

Rosenthal died Sunday in an Arizona nursing home. He was 94.

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