During her ongoing visit to the United States of America, Slovak Prime Minister Iveta Radičová honoured American war veterans on Veterans Day, November 11, by laying a wreath at the Iwo Jima Memorial near Washington, DC.
One of the flag-raisers portrayed in the statue on the memorial is Sergeant Michael Strank, who was born in Jarabina, eastern Slovakia, the TASR newswire wrote. He was one of six soldiers who planted an American flag on Mount Suribachi during the battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. A photograph of the event taken on February 23, 1945, by Joe Rosenthal became one of the most famous images of World War II.
Strank was born on November 10, 1919, in Jarabina, near Stará Ľubovňa, in what was then Czechoslovakia. His parents later emigrated to Pennsylvania to look for work. Strank commanded a unit that landed on Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945. He was killed by an artillery shell later in the battle for the island, on March 1, 1945, and buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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12. Nov 2010 at 10:00