#SOL17: Hero


It was time to check up on my #OLW, but then I saw a cousin’s post and I was off on a tangent.  In search of history.  In search of a different meaning of “BRAVE”.  In search of a definition of HERO that I can uphold and believe in.

Can you name this iconic photo? 

Where was it taken? 


What is the significance?

iwo jima iconic

The photographer won the Pulitzer prize for this picture in 1945.  It was later found on a three cent stamp and also used for war bond sales.

Iwo Jima



Worthy of some recognition although it was “Before My Time”.

The statistics are alarming . . . the number of Americans killed.  The number of Japanese who died.  The miles and miles of tunnels.  An island.  The ferociousness of battle.

iwo jima map

The flag, raised twice, was displayed at Mount Suribachi and seemed to herald an easy victory for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Marines.  But pictures and stories abound.

iwo ima pic

I’m not sure what a “tractor” was.  Many different vehicles are present in pictures and in books.

iwo jima book https...www.erichammelbooks.com.books.b_marinesOnIwoJima-v2.php.two

The post that sent me on a history search for a day was my uncle’s picture here posted by his daughter. A tractor commander.  Multiple battles.  A corporal.

don ruth

“. . .  outstanding qualities of initiative and courage  . . . under heavy enemy mortar and artillery fire.  . . . cool and calm under enemy fire, and his courageous conduct was at all times in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States naval service.”

My uncle 

awarded a bronze star 



And in our present day, any person who raises their right hand and says,

“I, _________, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the  Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; . . .

as they enter into the armed services

is a HERO!

Who are your heroes?

Who did you celebrate on Veteran’s Day? 

What stories of bravery are you collecting?

slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

13 responses

  1. Seeing family history through images, maps and articles is so powerful. Our school continued a tradition of inviting veterans to our school for a big breakfast and ceremony of appreciation, and there were about 60 veterans there. We’ve lost many of the WW2 vets now (for many years, a Pearl Harbor survivor would tell his story to the entire school during the ceremony).

    1. Thanks, Kevin. So many stories from so many survivors and so thankful for the many flights that have allowed soldiers to travel to Washington DC. So many literally gave so much!

  2. A hero is definitely one who inspires others. Our school always invited a local member of the armed forces in to speak to the student body at our Veteran’s Day assembly. Who could not be inspired by these brave men and women?

    1. My son has participated in some events. So much inspiration from so many sources!

  3. I had an uncle who was at Pearl Harbor, but not on a ship. He survived. I wrote a poem on my blog- “An American Story” based on my mom’s memories and thoughts about that. My dad and step dad both served during the Korean War era. My husband served in both Air Force and Army. My son is a Marine Corps vet. I am proud of them all for their service!

    1. Diane,
      I count 14 in 4 generations of my immediate family and at least 5 in my husband’s family. WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Enduring Freedom, Iraq, Afghanistan and the list goes on. So much pride in service to and for others! ❤

  4. Thanks for sharing this story. I’m at TC at their Book Club Institute and I’m in a Vietnam War Book Club reading Fallen Angels. She also read us a PB called Patrol. Both are by Walter Dean Meyers. I’ve been immersed in learning about war and all the sides of a war. That proud American perspective wasn’t as evident during the discussion today and I’m still pondering what the classroom discussion looks like and sounds like. I am proud of our military. And at the same time get that war is such a complicated topic. Your post helped me see that proud American side of the war story. Thanks.

    1. Sally,
      I love new books to read. I remember the “unrest” caused by Vietnam. Kent State was a revolt against the government. Issues seemed to be around “Why go there?” when there were so many issues at home and “When it was a civil war – was it really our business?” but that’s an old, old memory at work. Soldiers that were there often felt like the British in the Revolutionary War – “they aren’t fighting fair” with all the guerilla warfare. I believe we need the historical perspectives about war because we end up in them for so many reasons . . . even Pearl Harbor wasn’t as “cur and dried” for entry. That was all about fear and racism. Digging deeper with Book Clubs is a noble effort. Continuing to use textbooks that are so bizarrely skewed is not!

      And agreed, it’s complicated but proud of those who sacrifice so much! ❤

  5. My students are in the midst of researching and writing about their grandparents’ service – yes, it is so important to mark these heroes, and not just on Veteran’s Day.

    1. Oh, Tara, so true. Every day and “not just on Veteran’s Day”! So many stories! So much service! So much pride! So many sacrifices! ❤

  6. What great research and learning you bring everything in your life. A wonderful testament to your uncle and veterans. Thank you so much for the history lesson.

    1. Julieanne,
      How do we encourage students to always be curious? There is JUST so much to learn! Every question sends me in another direction! See you SOON, my friend! Can’t wait to hear how you are feeling about 4th grade! ❤

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