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Akron Beacon Journal | Jan 03, 2014 | by Jim Carney

Ed Getz witnessed one of the most important moments of the 20th Century.

As a Marine on Iwo Jima who landed in the second wave in February 1945, he saw the flag raising on Mount Suribachi a few days later.

In a 2007 Beacon Journal article, Mr. Getz spoke of the historic flag raising.

A small flag was placed on the mountain first, he said, followed by a larger flag that was photographed by Joe Rosenthal. The photo became an iconic image from World War II.

“We cheered up and down the beach,” said Mr. Getz, of Tallmadge, who retired from the B&O Railroad after 44 years.

“The Navy blew whistles and fired guns. It was like a big celebration,” he recalled.

Getz said in the interview that he did not talk about the battle on Iwo Jima.

“You wonder why you are here,” he said of surviving the battle.

Getz was part of the occupation of Japan after the war ended.

Mr. Getz, 90, died Dec. 30. He is survived by his wife, Lyvonne Getz, four children, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

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