Ira Hayes Ira Hayes was a young Pima Indian United States Marine from Bapchule, Arizona. On February 23, 1945, this young United States Marine found himself fighting for his life on a volcanic Pacific island known as Iwo Jima. This battle was one of the worst battles of the Pacific War. More than 6,000 American soldiers were killed in the assault of this island. Around 10:00 a.m., on the fourth day of fighting, a group of United States Marines reached the top of the highest mountain of the island, Mount Suribachi. There, on the summit of this Pacific island, six United States Marines raised the American flag as a military photographer, Joe Rosenthal, snapped one of the most famous pictures of World War II. Ira Hayes Six United States Marines raising the  American flag on Iwo Jima was one of  the most famous photos of World War II.  Arizona’s Ira Hayes was one of these marines. Ira Hayes was one of the marines who raised that American flag. He was a long way away from his Arizona, Sonoran Desert home. Ira Hayes became a national hero and was ordered to return to America to help sell War Bonds. Being a hero was not easy for this quiet, shy man. His life fell on very rough times. On January 24, 1955, Ira Hayes was found dead in a small cotton field irrigation ditch near his home. He was given a hero’s burial in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C. Yet, because of the photograph on Mount Suribachi and a statue of that photograph created at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C., Ira Hayes, the young Arizona Pima Indian, will live on forever as a part of America’s history. Chapter 13 • Arizona Faces and Features  135