Marine Vets Want To Name A Navy Ship After The Iwo Jima Photographer

news
Associated Press photo by Joe Rosenthal

It’s an iconic photo recognizable the world over: A group of United States Marines cresting Mount Suribachi to plant their nation’s colors on Iwo Jima, as Old Glory snaps in the breeze. Now, a group of current and former Marines want to honor the man behind the 1945 image: Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal.


On Oct. 5, the US Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association submitted a petition to the office of the secretary of the Navy to name a ship after Rosenthal, who won the Pulitzer Prize for the acclaimed World War II image, which boosted morale — and helped sell more than $26 billion in war bonds when the Allies needed money to keep the war effort pumping, according to the AP.

U.S. Marines of the 28th Regiment, 5th Division, raise the American flag atop Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima, Japan.Associated Press photo by Joe Rosenthal

“I think it’s the most significant photo of all time because of what it did,” Tom Graves, a San Francisco Bay Area chapter historian for the Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association, told the Associated Press. “I think there’s more beautiful photos, I think there’s more dramatic photos,” he added, but “you can’t glance at it and not be moved by it. Someone at the time said it captures the soul of a nation. And I think it still does today.”

Related: The Incredible Story Behind The Iwo Jima Photo Discovery »

The 2,000-signature strong petition is expected to land on the desk of the Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer on Oct. 10, just a day after what would have been Rosenthal’s 106th birthday, according to the Combat Correspondents Association.

Though it’s a longshot request, there’s plenty of precedent for naming a U.S. naval vessel after someone who didn’t serve in the military. U.S aircraft carriers like the John C. Stennis and Carl Vinson were named for long-serving, Navy-friendly politicians who never donned a uniform. And in Sept. 2016, former-Navy secretary Ray Mabus announced his decision to name a number of ships after non-military figures, like Medgar Evers, Cesar Chavez, John Lewis, and Harvey Milk, who were “American heroes too, just in a different arena," Mabus said, according to Military.com.

A seasoned photojournalist who volunteered for frontline action in the Pacific theater and covered the fighting on Guam, Peleliu, and Angaur armed with only his wits and a camera, Rosenthal is a fitting recipient for such an honor, the photographer’s daughter, Anne Rosenthal, told the Associated Press.

“There are awards and there are plaques and there are speeches, but this whole idea of the ship is so appealing, because a ship is like a living thing,” she said. “It has people who spend their lives on it, or parts of their lives on it.”

WATCH NEXT:

In a scathing letter, a top Navy legal official on Sunday expressed "grave ethical concerns" over revelations that government prosecutors used tracking software in emails to defense lawyers in ongoing cases involving two Navy SEALs in San Diego.

The letter, written by David G. Wilson, Chief of Staff of the Navy's Defense Service Offices, requested a response by Tuesday from the Chief of the Navy's regional law offices detailing exactly what type of software was used and what it could do, who authorized it, and what controls were put in place to limit its spread on government networks.

"As our clients learn about these extraordinary events in the media, we are left unarmed with any facts to answer their understandable concerns about our ability to secure the information they must trust us to maintain. This situation has become untenable," Wilson wrote in the letter, which was obtained by Task & Purpose on Monday.

Read More Show Less
Pfc. Kyle Dinsmore gets his turn to use the system during the SBS fielding at Fort Bragg. Photo: Patrick Ferraris/U.S. Army

Those really sweet, hand-held drones that the Army bought in January were finally put to the test as they were fielded to some lucky soldiers for the first time at the beginning of May.

Read More Show Less
Retired Navy Adm. William H. McRaven. (Flickr/Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Sean K. Harp)

For many people, millennials are seen as super-entitled, self-involved, over-sensitive snowflakes who don't have the brains or brawn to, among other noble callings, serve as the next great generation of American warfighters.

Retired Navy Adm. William H. McRaven is here to tell you that you have no idea what you're talking about.

Read More Show Less
Rebekah "Moani" Daniel and her husband Walter Daniel. (Walter Daniel/Luvera Law Firm)

The Supreme Court on Monday denied a petition to hear a wrongful death case involving the controversial Feres Doctrine — a major blow to advocates seeking to undo the 69-year-old legal rule that bars U.S. service members and their families from suing the government for injury or death deemed to have been brought on by military service.

Read More Show Less
Fort Irwin's painted rocks in Nov. 25, 2014 (U.S. Army/ Guy Volb)

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

FORT IRWIN, California -- Anyone who's been here has seen it: the field of brightly painted boulders surrounding a small mountain of rocks that symbolizes unit pride at the Army's National Training Center.

For nearly four decades, combat units have painted their insignias on boulders near the road into this post. It's known as Painted Rocks.

Read More Show Less