The United States Marine Corps War Memorial, also known as the Iwo Jima Memorial, honors all Marines who have perished while defending the United States and liberty around the world. The famous bronze statue, one of the most recognized statues in the United States and around the world, depicts the February 23, 1945, flag-raising on Mount Suribachi during the World War II battle of Iwo Jima.
Following the War, sculptor Felix de Weldon was commissioned by the United State Congress to create the Iwo Jima statue based upon the famous Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph taken by American photographer Joe Rosenthal and the design of Horace W. Peaslee. With the assistance of hundreds of other sculptors, the project proceeded from 1945 until 1954 taking nine years to complete. The cost of the memorial, paid for entirely by private donations, was $850,000. It was dedicated on November 10, 1954, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The bronze statue depicts six 32-foot high figures, five Marines, and one Navy corpsman, raising a 60-foot flagpole. A cloth American flag flies from the flagpole 24 hours a day. At a weight of 100 tons and a height of 78 feet, the Iwo Jima statue is the largest bronze statue in the world. The base is concrete and polished black granite.
Visiting the Memorial
The United States Marine Corps War Memorial's location on a hill within a 7.5-acre park-like setting offers wonderful views of Washington, D.C., which is just across the Potomac River. Because of this, the Memorial is one of the best locations in the area for viewing the annual Fourth of July Fireworks display.
- Hours: The United States Marine Corps War Memorial is open 24 hours a day every day of the year.
- Admission:- Free
- Location: Arlington, Virginia - Marshall Avenue, between Arlington National Cemetery and Route 50.
- Closest Metro Station: Rosslyn via the Blue and Orange Lines. The Memorial is about .34 mile (6 blocks) south of the station.
Events at the Memorial
Summer Sunset Parades: During the summer months, marching and musical units from Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. present Sunset Parades on Tuesday evenings as scheduled, usually from 7 to 8 p.m., although occasionally the starting time may vary. Reservations are not necessary and although parking is not available at the Memorial on Parade evening, a free shuttle bus runs from the Arlington National Cemetery Visitor Center Parking area before and after the parade.
Marine Corps Marathon: In the fall, many activities of the popular Marine Corps Marathon, known as the People's Marathon take place on the grounds of the United States Marine Corps War Memorial.