Iwo Jima Flag Raising Parade and Ceremonies will return to Sacaton

Emma Hughes

Gila River Indian News


The 79th anniversary of the Iwo Jima flag raising will be celebrated once again, with a military parade, fly-over, and ceremonies held in Sacaton on Saturday, Feb. 24.


Hosted by the Ira Hayes American Legion Post 84, the event is expected to bring hundreds of Community members and spectators from across the country for this honored tradition.


It pays tribute to the six U.S. Marines, including Gila River Indian Community member Ira H. Hayes, who raised the American flag atop Mt. Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima, on Feb. 23, 1945.


“We are extremely happy to be able to continue with this event and to recognize and honor the Hayes relations by having the families serve as Grand Marshall,” said Tony McDaniel, Post 84 Adjutant.


This event returns after being postponed for the past three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


All active-duty military personnel, veteran’s organizations and representatives, church groups, schools, bands, and families are invited to participate in the parade.


Parade line up and staging is scheduled for 7 a.m. located at 168 South Skill Center Road and the parade is set to begin at 8:45 a.m.


The parade route will begin on Skill Center Road near the Sacaton Elementary School, proceed on Casa Blanca Road and end near Sacaton Road.


Road closures will be west of Casa Blanca Road and east on Sacaton Road and Pima Street.


Ceremonies will follow at the Mathew B. Juan – Ira H. Hayes Veterans Memorial Park. The American Legion Auxiliary Unity No. 84 will host luncheon, along with the St. Peters Indian Mission School and Church.


For more information on the event or to participate in the parade, contact Ira Hayes American Legion Post 85 at (520) 562-8484 or email: ihpost84@gilanet.net