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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: November 20, 2019 03:16 PM
From: Representative Jim Rigby
To: All House members
Subject: Sgt. Michael Strank Month

In the near future, I will be introducing a Resolution designating the month of December 2019 as Sgt. Michael Strank Month in Pennsylvania.

Michael Strank was born in Jarabina, Czechoslovakia on November 10, 1919. He and his family immigrated to Johnstown, PA when Michael was 3 years old. Sgt. Strank enlisted into the Marine Corps on October 6, 1939, just 2 years before the bombing of Pearl Harbor and was one of the first to go overseas after the attack. He was promoted to Sergeant on January 26, 1942 and on February 19, 1945 he led his men in an assault on Iwo Jima.

Four days into the fighting on Iwo Jima a detachment of Marines raised a small United States Flag atop Mt. Suribachi making it the first time an American Flag flew over Japanese territory. Two hours later Sgt. Strank and five other Marines were told to take down the small flag and replace it with a larger flag. As Sgt. Strank secured the flag to a long pipe and the men raised the larger flag, Joe Rosenthal miraculously snapped a picture of the scene and it became the most reproduced and recognized image in the history of the world. This photograph boosted morale and reinvigorated American patriotism, which led to the raising more than $26 billion for the American war effort.

Sgt. Michael Strank was killed in action on Iwo Jima on March 1, 1945, just six days after raising the flag. On January 13, 1949 he was finally brought home and reinterred in Arlington National Cemetery.

Please join me in cosponsoring this resolution that honors the man who boosted the war effort and paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.

Introduced as HR623