It is perhaps the most famous picture of World War II. Then Captain; now Marine General Larry Snowden is the oldest surviving officer from the Pacific's fiercest battle.
"Second half of my platoon, I'm already over that ridge," said Snowden.
The Flag hasn’t been raised yet in this picture, when it was; Snowden says it wasn’t as romantic then as it is now.
"I've read many accounts that says, when the flag went up the troops all over the island stood up and cheered. No way. Not where I was, you stood up you were a dead marine."
At 92, Snowden fought in three wars, he was wounded twice.
At Iwo Jima he held dying marines in his arms.
"I had a son just a year and half old, back in the states. And I had the momentary flash about what it would mean to me if somebody was telling me that my son is dead. I went to Los Angeles to..."
General Snowden still keeps a hectic travel schedule, speaking on freedom and veterans. He say you can’t have one without the other.
"Veterans are what brought us to freedom. Veterans are the ones who keep us free. Veterans are still fighting over seas, in people they don't know, in lands they don't know."
As America celebrates its independence with bar B cues, picnics, and fireworks, Snowden's wish is that parents share the reason America is free with their children.
"You do what you want to do. The high cost of freedom is just that, a very high cost."
Larry Snowden, one of the reasons we are celebrating our freedom.
Snowden served in the military for 37 years. After leaving the military he served as trade negotiator with Japan.