Pictures never lie, except when we come to believe they represent something they don't. The iconic World War II Iwo Jima photo we all know was not of the actual raising of the flag. It was a re-creation of the event:
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Lindberg spent decades explaining that it was his patrol, not the one captured in the famous Associated Press photograph by Joe Rosenthal, that raised the first flag as U.S. forces fought to take the Japanese island.
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By Lindberg's account, his commander ordered the first flag replaced and safeguarded because he worried someone would take it as a souvenir. Lindberg was back in combat when six men raised the second, larger flag about four hours later.
Rosenthal's photo of the second flag-raising became one of the most enduring images of the war and the model for thememorial in Washington.
Though the photo doesn't depict quite what we thought it did, it has become important as a larger truth. It has come to represent what the war meant to us and the world, and we use it to remind ourselves of who we are and what we stand for. But Lindberg and his fellow Marines deserve remembering for who they were and what they stood for. If our ideals are important, we need to honor not only them but the best among us who lived up to them.