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Arlington


Virginia

The Marine Corps War Memorial

The Marine Corps War Memorial stands as a symbol of this grateful Nation's esteem for the honored dead of the U.S. Marine Corps. While the statue depicts one of the most famous incidents of World War II, the memorial is dedicated to all Marines who have given their lives in the defense of the United States since 1775.

The 32-foot-high figures are shown erecting a 60-foot bronze flagpole from which a cloth flag flies 24 hours a day in accordance with Presidential proclamation of June 12, 1961. They occupy the same positions as in Rosenthal's historic photograph.

Hayes is the figure farthest from the flag staff; Sousley to the right front of Hayes; Strank on Sousley's left; Bradley in front of Sousley; Gagnon in front of Strank; and Block closest to the bottom of the flagstaff. The figures, placed on a rock slope, rise about 6 feet from a 10-foot base, making the memorial 78 feet high overall. The M-l rifle and the carbine carried by two of the figures are 16 and 12 feet long, respectively. The canteen would hold 32 quarts of water.

The base of the memorial is made of rough Swedish granite. Burnished in gold on the granite are the names and dates of every principal Marine Corps engagement since the founding of the Corps, as well as the inscription: "In honor and in memory of the men of the United States Marine Corps who have given their lives to their country since November 10, 1775." Also inscribed on the base is the tribute of Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz to the fighting men on Iwo Jima: "Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue."

Erection of the memorial, which was designed by Horace W. Peaslee, was begun in September 1954. It was officially dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on November 10, 1954, the 179th anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Origins

On February 19, 1945, the United States Marines landed on the small but strategic volcanic island of Iwo Jima.
The U.S. sent more Marines to Iwo than to any other battle, 110,000 Marines in 880 ships. Resistance was intense and continued for 36 days.
An incredible 27 Medals of Honor were awarded for heroic actions on Iwo Jima, a measure of valor unprecedented in American military history. After intense fighting, at about 10:30 a.m. on February 23, 1945, men all over the tiny island were thrilled by the sight of a small American flag flying at the top of Mt. Suribachi.
That afternoon, when the slopes were clear of enemy resistance, five marines and a Navy hospital corpsman raised a second, larger flag.
The raising of that flag became the model for the memorial located just outside the northern entrance to Arlington National Cemetery.
While the statue depicts one of the most famous incidents of World War II, the memorial is dedicated to all Marines who have given their lives in the defense of the United States since 1775.

Address:
The Memorial ist situated at the North end of the National Cemetery,in Arlington VA

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The Marine Corps War Memorial, Iwo Jima
The Marine Corps War Memorial, Iwo Jima

   
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Document Information
Source: Arlington CVB
Last modified: 20070503
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