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This Photograph Captures The Moment Japanese Surrendered At Iwo Jima

Updated 4 Mar 2019 26.4k views3 items

On March 16, 1945, after over a year of persistent pressure, US Marines accomplished a sizable WWII feat – they conquered Iwo Jima. About three weeks earlier, US Marines raised their flag on Mount Surbachi, creating an image that has become visually synonymous with America's victory in Iwo Jima. Later, Marines restaged the flag-raising for two photojournalists, creating the iconic image that we know to this day.

However, there were other striking photographs taken from this historic time. Chief among these is the photo of a US Marine puffing cigs with a Japanese soldier as he lays buried in the black sands of Iwo Jima. The Japanese soldier had been waiting there, ready to charge with a grenade in his hand, when the Japanese surrendered the island.

Though the Marine had to approach with caution – it could have been a trap, after all – he eventually made his way over to the man. There, the two shared in a timeless ritual of respect and human acknowledgment. 

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