One of the most reproduced photographs of all time is “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima”
A truly incredible photograph I’m sure you’ll agree.
No wonder then that it’s the most recognizable image of war ever taken, and possibly even the most reproduced photograph of all time.
But while pictures don’t lie, they don’t always tell the whole story. Because of the six US soldiers shown in the picture, three of them - Franklin Sousley, Harlon Block, and Michael Strank – didn’t even survive the battle.
But they did become heroes. Or at least American heroes.
So you can probably understand why I was more than a little surprised when, coming home from the gym one night in 2007, I see this huge banner at the Kuningan Junction:
HARI PAHLAWAN 10 NOVEMBER – JANGAN LUPA ASAL USUL
HEROES DAY 10 NOVEMBER – DON’T FORGET HISTORY
Don’t forget history?!!! Are you kidding me or what?
Because – correct me if I’m wrong here – but I’m really not aware of too many Indonesian soldiers being involved in the battle at Iwo Jima. But hold on a sec – look again at the photo a bit more closely…
…they’re hoisting up the Merah Putih!!!! Indonesia’s national flag!!!!!!!!!
So Indonesian soldiers were there!!!!!!
NB: why didn’t the designers make their own banner using an Indonesian image? Sure they might have had to show Indonesian soldiers helping out in Aceh or aging independence war veterans or something, but hell that’s okay. But to have done a photoshop on America’s most famous war image for Indonesian Heroes Day? Well, how stupid can you get?
NBB: the original photograph was taken on February 23, 1945, by Joe Rosenthal. By the time Rosenthal had reached the summit the Marines were attaching the flag to the pipe. Rosenthal put down his camera (which was set to 1/400th of a second shutter speed, with the f-stop between 8 and 16) on the ground so he could pile rocks to stand on for a better vantage point. In doing so, he nearly missed the shot. Realizing he was about to miss it, Rosenthal quickly swung his camera up and snapped the legendary photograph without even using the viewfinder. (source: Wikipedida)