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Longboat Key Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010 10 years ago

Iwo Jima Marines are now few, but still proud

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

+ Iwo Jima Marines are now few, but still proud
The 65th anniversary of Iwo Jima was Feb. 19, and the anniversary of the flag raising over Mount Suribachi was four days later, on Feb. 23.

Longboat Key resident and Iwo Jima survivor Martin Samowitz was there when the U.S. Marine Corps raised the flag, but at the time, he had no idea it would become an iconic image of World War II.

“We thought it was an ordinary thing to raise a flag,” Samowitz said.

Decades ago, when the Iwo Jima Survivors Association began holding reunions, thousands of Marines attended. Last summer, when Samowitz hosted the reunion on his boat, “Footloose,” just 10 survivors attended.

Samowitz plans to travel to Connecticut again for the reunion this year. Technically, the group will be six months late in celebrating the anniversary — but what’s a few months when you’ve made history?

Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected].

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