Flags of Our Fathers

Author: James Bradley

A book on the best seller list, titled Flags of Our Fathers, describes the reluctance of many with combat experience to welcome attention and adulation. This book is about Marines on Iwo Jima. The real heroes, say the survivors, are those who did not come back. Twenty-six thousand Americans fighting for possession of this tiny island did not. The author, James Bradley, son of one of those in the famous photograph of the American flag being raised on Iwo Jima, describes his father as hardly ever speaking about Iwo Jima and avoiding interviews. His father, John Bradley, a Navy Corpsman, had joined the Navy hoping to make it through the war with a bunk to sleep in everyday and regular meals. Instead he was assigned as a corpsman with the Marines – a group highly respected by every Marine in combat.  James Bradley rejects the idea of heroism as uncommon valor. He sees the performance of those like his father who served on Iwo Jima as common valor. His father had not been where he wanted to be. He was no zealot. He did what he felt he had to do for the sake of the others who were with him on Iwo Jima.