Israeli children take cover in a classroom during an air raid siren drill at Gordon school in Tel Aviv on Wednesday. Air raid sirens have sounded across Israel as part of a massive four-day-long air raid drill. Israel is practicing its response to a widespread rocket attack all over the country. Oded Balilty/AP
A child plays between sculptures outside a museum in Beijing on Wednesday. Muhammed Muheisen/AP
An Israeli army video explains how to use a gas mask at an army gas mask distribution center in Tel Aviv on Wednesday as the nation joined in a massive air raid drill. Tara Todras-Whitehill/AP
A child is seen during a protest by parents against planned cuts of childcare benefits in Bucharest, Romania on Wednesday. Trade unions threaten a general strike starting next week following the decision to cut state sector salaries by 25 percent and pensions by 15 percent and other benefits to meet an IMF (International Monetary Fund) budget deficit target. Vadim Ghirda/AP
Marines line the deck of the U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship, USS Iwo Jima, as it passes the Statue of Liberty in New York on Wednesday. The Iwo Jima and other military vessels are visiting New York as part of Fleet Week. Peter Morgan/AP
Technicians look for system leaks on the space shuttle Atlantis after landing at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Wednesday. Atlantis and its crew of six astronauts carried a new Russian-built module to the International Space Station and conducted three spacewalks to install new batteries and spare components on the outside of the orbital laboratory complex. Red Huber/Reuters
A water measure station is pictured at river Oder in the eastern German village of Ratzdorf on Wednesday. Authorities in the region are preparing for flooding from Poland to hit as the Oder river continues to rise faster than anticipated. The flood alert status was raised in Germany's Brandenburg state to its highest level, meaning that if the flooding continues, areas beyond the river banks could be affected by floodwaters. Tobias Schwarz/Reuters
The waxing moon is seen over a mountain in Sestriere, an alpine village in northwest Italy on Wednesday. A moon is described as waxing when it is moving towards a full moon. The full moon in May is often referred to as the 'milk moon,' and will occur on Thursday. Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters
A Belarussian ornithologist tags a tawny owl chick at an artificial nest in a forest near Uzda, Belarus, on Wednesday. Ornithologists from Biology Museum at Belarussian State University and the organization APB BirdLife Belarus installed more than 20 boxes for artificial nests to extend dispersion of owls in the country's forests. Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters
Tiny frogs swarm on the side of the Egnatia highway in northern Greece on Wednesday. Officials closed the key northern highway for two hours near the town of Langadas after what police called 'a carpet of frogs' covered the road. Three cars skidded off the highway but no human injuries were reported. Police said the amphibians probably left a nearby lake to look for food. Pavlos Makridis/Aggelioforos/AP
A thick stripe of oil residue is formed around a boat as it passes through oil floating on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana on Wednesday. Jae C. Hong/AP
A Indian Hindu community in Thailand pray for peace during a prayer meeting at Lumpini park in downtown Bangkok, Thailand on Wednesday. Thousands of residents gathered at dawn to pray for peace at sites across Bangkok where people were killed and high rise buildings torched in two months of political violence. Manish Swarup/AP
A pedestrian crosses a road in Sydney's central business district during a rainstorm on Wednesday. Sydney has been subjected to heavy rain and flash flooding as winter weather sets in on the east coast of Australia. Tim Wimborne/Reuters
Seventy years ago, AP's Joe Rosenthal took the now iconic photo of US Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima. The Christian Science Monitor reported why the tiny island played such a huge role in the war's Pacific theater.
ByJoseph C. Harsch, Staff writer
This article originally ran in The Christian Science Monitor on Feb. 23, 1945, on the same day when Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal took the now iconic photo of US Marines raising the nation's flag on the island of Iwo Jima in the Pacific Ocean. The Monitor's Joseph C. Harsch explained at the time why Iwo Jima played such an important role in the US campaign in the Pacific during World War II.