The Iwo Jima Memorial, also known as the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, honors the Marines who have died defending the United States since 1775. The national Memorial is located near Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. In April 2015, philanthropist David M. Rubenstein donated $5.37 million to restore the sculpture and improve the surrounding parkland.
The 32-foot-high sculpture of the Iwo Jima Memorial was inspired by a Pulitzer Prize winning photograph, taken by Associated Press combat photographer Joe Rosenthal, of one of the most historic battles of World War II.
Iwo Jima, a small island located 660 miles south of Tokyo, was the last territory that U.S. troops recaptured from the Japanese during World War II. The Iwo Jima Memorial statue depicts the scene of the flag raising by five Marines and a Navy hospital corpsman that signaled the successful takeover of the island. The capture of Iwo Jima eventually led to the end of the war in 1945.
The figures of the Marines in the Iwo Jima Memorial statue erect a 60-foot bronze flagpole from which a cloth flag flies 24 hours a day.
The base of the memorial is made of rough Swedish granite which is inscribed with the names and dates of every principal member of the U. S. Marine Corps. Also engraved are the words "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."
The Memorial is set on a ridge overlooking Washington, D.C. and offers great views of the nation's capital. It is a popular destination to view the Fourth of July Fireworks over the National Mall.
Getting to The Iwo Jima Memorial
Location: Marshall Drive, between Route 50 and Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, VA. The Memorial is located about a ten minute walk from both the Arlington National Cemetery or the Rosslyn Metro Stations. The Netherlands Carillon, a bell tower and park are adjacent to the memorial.
- From VA 110 south turn right onto Marshall Drive, then follow signs for the US Marine Corps War Memorial.
- From US 50 east take the exit for Rosslyn and the Key Bridge. Turn right onto Meade Street at the top of the ramp. Turn left on Marshall Drive, then follow the signs for the US Marine Corps War Memorial.
- From US 50 west cross into Virginia on the Roosevelt Bridge and take the exit for Rosslyn and the Key Bridge. Turn left onto Meade Street at the top of the ramp. Turn left on Marshall Drive, then follow the signs for the US Marine Corps War Memorial.
Open daily, 24 hours. The Marine Corps presents the Marine Sunset Review Parade on Tuesdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m., May through August.
The capital region is home to many memorials to honor those who have made notable contributions to our nation. To learn more, see a Guide to Monuments and Memorials in Washington, D.C.