Harlon Block, American Hero

In 1943 Harlon H. Block  was one of 8 members of his high school class who enlisted in The Marine Corps together.  That’s Harlon on the right in the photo.  He was 18 at the time.

Two years later on February 24 he was one of the 6 men who raised the American flag on Iwo Jima’s Mount Suribachi.  Harlon is the one in front at the bottom of the flagstaff.   Joe Rosenthal took the historic photo that captured the event.  He won a Pulitzer Prize for it.  That photo inspired the sculpture that was placed in Arlington National Cemetery.  This iconic Marine Corps War Memorial was dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954 on the 179th anniversary of this branch of the service.

Three of the 6 men who raised the flag died on Iwo Jima.  Harlon H. Block was killed in action 6 days after he took part in the event.  He was buried on the island.  After the war his body was returned to Weslaco, Texas, his hometown.  A replica of the Iwo Jima monument rose in Weslaco and was placed on the Parade Ground of the Marine Military Academy in 1982.  Harlon was moved to be near it in 1995.

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, who also grew to manhood in Texas, wrote the tribute to the fighting men on Iwo Jima that is inscribed on this memorial’s black Brazilian granite base.  “Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue.”




About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

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