US vets, Japanese mark anniversary of Iwo Jima

6 years ago by in Japan

TOKYO (AP) — American veterans and Japanese dignitaries have gathered on the remote island of Iwo Jima to mark the 67th anniversary of one of World War II’s bloodiest and most symbolic battles.

Brass bands played under a blazing sun as guests from both nations stood to salute their flags Wednesday near the foot of Mount Suribachi, where five U.S. Marines and a Navy corpsman raised the U.S. flag in 1945. A photo of them would become the most iconic image of the war.

Fighting began on Feb. 19, 1945, and Iwo Jima was declared secure on March 26. The battle claimed 6,821 American and 21,570 Japanese lives.

The island, 700 miles (1,100 kilometers) south of Tokyo, is now uninhabited except for a Japanese military outpost. It is known in Japan as Ioto.

 

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.