PORT CHARLOTTE — On the morning of Feb. 23, 1945, the island of Iwo Jima suddenly erupted with bells, horns and whistles from the hundreds of ships poised offshore. The uproar celebrated the raising of the American flag atop Mount Suribachi, signaling the capture of the Japanese-held 554-foot fortress secured by American forces after four days of bloody combat.
A few hours later, a larger one was raised so everyone on the small island could see it.
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