National Archive

Get Active to Honor Vets: Gila River Iwo Jima Flag Raising 8K Competitive Run

February 22, 2013

On Saturday, February 23, the Ira H. Hayes American Legion Post 84 and the Gila River Indian Community Tribal Recreation Department will sponsor and stage an 8K competitive run in Sacaton, Arizona. The race is part of the weekend's celebration of the 68th anniversary of the raising of the U.S. flag at the summit of Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima. Pima Indian and U.S. Marine Ira H. Hayes was one of the six men to raise the flag on February 23, 1945, which was captured by photograph by Associated Press photojournalist Joe Rosenthal, an shot that has become one of the most iconic wartime images in history. (The photo was the inspiration for the Iwo Jima Monument, created by sculptor Felix de Weldon, which is on the auction block: read about it here.)

The starting point for the run, with the theme "Honoring those who served in WWII," is the Gila River Fairgrounds in Sacaton (at East Casa Blanca Road & South Bluebird Road). Onsite registration and bib pick-up will be availabe from 6 a.m. to 6:45 a.m. The race begins at 7 a.m. The Gila River Wellness Center will coordinate the event. The center will also organize a non-competitve two-mile walk -- stiill a great way to get some exercise and show support for veterans.

For more info, click here.