Statue in Small Town Iowa Erected in Honor of War Hero
On February 23, 1945, during the Battle of Iwo Jima, six U.S. Marines reached the highest point of the island and raised the American flag. Joe Rosenthal, a photographer for the Associated Press was there, camera at the ready. He took three photos.
According to History.com, "The first, which showed six Marines struggling to hoist the heavy flag pole, became the most reproduced photograph in history and won him a Pulitzer Prize." As an article by Time magazine put it, the photo became "a timeless symbol of valor and unity."
One of those men that helped create such an iconic moment in American history was Corporal Harold Keller -- a native of Brooklyn, Iowa. A statue dedicated to the man has now been unveiled in his hometown.
According to KCCI, "The statue was created in Italy and was funded in part by donations from the citizens of Brooklyn. Plaques were also created, along with the statue with information about Keller, the Battle of Iwo Jima itself, and other Brooklyn veterans who fought at Iwo Jima and in World War II."
The news site added that a wide variety of veterans attended the ceremony, including those who served way back in World War II and that a 21-gun salute was held, as well as a ceremonial bugle and the Marine Corps raised the flag.
KCRG reported that Keller was first confirmed to be one of the six men to raise the flag in 2019. Several historians contacted his daughter after piecing the information together. This is what Kay and Steve Maurer, Kellers daughter and her husband, said regarding her father and the moment:
He never ever said one thing about anything that had to do with the war. Period. ... Now, I look at the picture and go, ‘whoa, that’s my dad'. How amazing is that?
Keller passed away from a heart attack in 1979. He was 57 years old.