The Question and Answer section for Flags of Our Fathers is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
From the text:
"In the nation's memory, the flagraisers' transforation from individuals to anonymous representative figures had begun."
The true heroes of Iwo Jima were the ones who didn't come back.
"I think the answer is summed up in his belief that the true heroes of Iwo Jima were the ones who didn't come back."
People follow the media. People, in a democracy, elect governments. I would say the media is the strongest.