Joe Rosenthal, the photographer who shot the iconic photo of U.S. Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima, has died. Mr. Rosenthal was 94, and his was one of many World War II deaths currently appearing in newspapers. I particularly love the English World II obits in the Telegraph inevitably some character with a silly nickname has performed an act of courage that shaped his life and in all likelihood earned him an obituary all these years later. The soldiers are just as courageous today. But the media pursues other stories (they seem to regard the unhappy news that people are killed in war as a scoop).
Here is the bit from Mr. Rosenthal’s obituary that sticks with me (from the Post article linked above):
For all the attention given to the Iwo Jima shot, Mr. Rosenthal said he was far fonder of a picture he took shortly after landing at Iwo Jima. He was deeply impressed that no matter how many Marines fell to their death around him, more kept coming.
To illustrate this, he took a picture of two dead Marines on the beach, one with his face exposed to the sun, the other his face ground into the sand. A third Marine walks toward the sacrifice of his comrades.