Arlington, Virginia - On February 23, 1945, four days into the Battle of Iwo Jima, five Marines and a Navy corpsman raised the Star Spangled Banner atop Mount Suribachi, signifying their progress in securing the island.
The moment was captured on film and became one of the most iconic images in U.S. History, later having its likeness sculpted into a part of the Marine Corps War Memorial just outside Washington D.C.
After a long day learning about the modern United States Marine Corps, the Youth Education Summit traveled to this memorial to learn more about the organization's integral role in so many pivotal moments of our country's past.
Before walking over to the memorial the summit took a break for dinner, which in keeping in the day's Marine Corps theme came served as a Meal, Ready-to-Eat - otherwise known as a MRE.
The students cooked up their meals and ate in the shade of the nearby trees, with the larger-than-life bronze statues of the Iwo Jima flag raisers in front of them and a view of the Washington Monument in the background.
Their field rations consumed, it was time for a few more students to give their speeches on current social issues. Once finished, the group made their way over to the impressive memorial and took photos in between reading the locations and dates of every major engagement by the Marine Corps up to the present.
"Uncommon Valor Was a Common Virtue," a quote by Admiral Chester Nimitz, describing the men who fought on Iwo Jima, is one of the quotes inscribed on the memorial.
The men and women of the United States Marine Corps who have died in the defense of our country could not have a better memorial. Situated adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery, the memorial reminds us of the sacrifices given by so many to defend our freedom.
As the sun got closer to the horizon, the summit still had a few stops left in the day and headed back to their bus for a couple more monument stops.