Iwo Jima Movie 'Terribly Realistic'

US Marines raise American flag on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, 1945/2/23. Photo taken by Joe Rosenthal.
AP Photo
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
Clint Eastwood's new film, "Flags Of Our Fathers," is getting very good reviews.

It's the story of the battle for Iwo Jima, told by the men who helped raise the flag in Joe Rosenthal's famous photograph. That picture helped win the war.

When it appeared in newspapers across the country, Americans were weary of the death and the sacrifice. When they saw the picture, they felt this thing can be won.

The survivors were brought home and paraded throughout the land as heroes. They helped raise more than $20 billion in bonds, without which the war might never have been won.

Of course, none of these men wanted to be heroes. They all felt the real heroes were the men who died on the battlefield.

I have seen a good portion of the film. It's brilliantly done, terribly realistic, and frankly, too much for me.

My father-in-law was at Iwo Jima and I kept thinking about how awful it was for him. And I understood why he never talked about it.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
By Harry Smith