A worker hangs decorative red lanterns on trees ahead of Chinese lunar New Year celebrations at Longtan Park in Beijing, on Jan. 31. The lunar New Year begins on Feb. 3 and marks the start of the Year of the Rabbit. Jason Lee/Reuters
Travelers trying to leave Egypt sleep inside Cairo International Airport on Jan. 31. The airport was a scene of chaos and confusion as thousands of foreigners sought to flee the unrest in Egypt. Ann Hermes/Staff
Kazakhstan's Alexey Poltoranin (r.) finishes ahead of Japan's Onda Yuichi to win the men's cross-country sprint race during the Seventh Asian Winter Games outside Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Monday, Jan. 31. Nikita Bassov/AP
A Sotheby's employee holds one of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's handmade porcelain sunflower seeds (Kui Hua Zi) at the auction house premises in London, on Jan. 31. The piece weights 100 kg and it is estimated to fetch between $127,000 and $190,000 in Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Auction which takes place on Feb. 15. Matt Dunham/AP
Ice crystals rest on a plant at the Cleveland Metroparks polo field Monday, Jan. 31, in Moreland Hills, Ohio. Temperatures will stay in the teens for northeast Ohio on Monday. Tony Dejak/AP
A Pakistani boy plays with a tire during sunset on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, on Jan. 31. Muhammed Muheisen/AP
Men dressed in sheepskin costumes for a carnival celebration walk on the way to the Pyrenees village of Ituren, northern Spain, on Jan. 31. Alvaro Barrientos/AP
A protester holds a placard depicting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak as Adolf Hitler in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Jan. 31. Yannis Behrakis/Reuters
Russian riot police officers cordon off an area during a rally in central Moscow on Jan. 31. Opposition groups have been calling rallies on the 31st day of each month to honor the 31st article of the Russian Constitution, which guarantees the right of assembly. Most of the rallies have been banned or dispersed by police as unsanctioned. Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP
Yemeni Abdul Bari Hussein, reads verses from the Quran, Islam's holy book, in the Grand Mosque in the old city of Sanaa, Yemen, on Jan. 31. Hani Mohammed/AP
A villager makes cow-dung cakes used as cooking fuel at Maloya village on the outskirts of the northern Indian city of Chandigarh on Jan. 31. Ajay Verma/Reuters
People release white balloons after a religious service celebrated in Ciudad Juarez on Jan. 30. People gathered in remembrance of 14 high school students who were killed when hitmen burst into a party on Jan. 31, 2010. Gael Gonzalez/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.