The fact that an American flag had prominent placement in one of the most iconic images of World War II is not surprising. This would not be the last time that an image of an American flag would move the nation. On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked when Islamic terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda hijacked four commercial passenger jets, and proceeded to crash two into the World Trade Center Towers in New York City and one into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The passengers and crew of the fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, attempted to retake the plane from the hijackers, tragically resulting in the plane crashing into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
In the days following the September 11th attacks, Americans joined together in unity under one symbol: the American flag. One of the most famous images from the site of the collapsed World Trade Center Towers (Ground Zero) is that of three firefighters raising the flag as they searched for survivors. The image is reminiscent of the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima, reminding Americans of the flag's unfailing spirit in the face of adversity.