Make sure you say a prayer tonight for one of the bravest men our country will ever know.

And make sure that prayer includes a big ‘thank you.’

First Lt. John Wells passed away at the age of 94 yesterday. He led the charge to place the first American flag above Iwo Jima in World War II.

Via BuzzPo:

A highly decorated Marine who led the charge up Mount Suribachi to place the first American flag over Iwo Jima in World War II died last week.

First Lt. John Wells died Thursday at a rehabilitation center in Arvada, Colorado, according to local ABC affiliate Denver 7. He was 94.

Wells led his men in a frontal assault up Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima on Feb. 21, 1945. The five-week battle comprised some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting of the War in the Pacific during World War II.

Wells didn’t make it to the top of the mountain, having been shot several times by the Japanese. But his leadership led to other Marines being able to plant the American flag, an event captured in the famous photo by Joe Rosenthal entitled Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima.

Wells received numerous awards for his heroism – including the Navy Cross, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart.

His daughter described him as “a very warm, sensitive, spiritual man, all the way to age 94.”

“He honored and loved the Marine Corps with all his heart and soul. He loved his family, and his last words were, ‘My family.’”

You can read more about this great American hero by clicking here.

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