The Marine Corps War Memorial, sometimes known as the Iwo Jima Memoria, is a famous military statue that is located outside the Arlington National Cemetery. The statue depicts the scene from the famous photograph where five United States Marines and a United States Navy corpsman raise the United States flag on Mount Suribachi during World War II (specifically during the Battle of Iwo Jima). The statue stands in honor of all those in the Marine Corps who have lost their lives defending their country. It is one of the most iconic memorial statues in the world. Let’s find out who designed this impressive structure.
Who designed the Marine Corps Memorial?
The original photograph was taken by Joe Rosenthal on February 23, 1945. It became extremely popular and Rosenthal was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Photography. The American sculptor Felix de Weldon set about creating a scale model of the scene after he saw the photograph for the first time. He created this model in just a weekend and it was presented to Congress to raise money for the project. However, there was not enough money during the war so de Weldon had to wait. Fundraising for the project began in 1947 and in 1951 work on the memorial began. The statue measures 9.8 m (32 ft) tall and is built on a granite base. The official opening of the memorial came on November 10, 1954 and it was dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Did you know?
The original mold of the statue can be found on the Marine Military Academy grounds.
In 1961 President Kennedy decreed that the United States flag should be flown at the memorial 24 hours a day.
The Marines in the photograph were Harlon Block, Franklin Sousley, Michael Strank, Rene Gagnon and Ira Hayes. The sailor was John Bradley. Block, Sousley and Strank were killed in action, but the remaining servicemen became celebrities after they were identified!