Iwo Jima was a US occupied territory during the World War II, and it translate to ‘sulfur island’, which throw lights to the state in which the Marines fought. More than 6000 US soldiers died in the battlefields of Iwo Jima, and five days into the battle, they raised the national flag on top of Mount Suribachi hill. The Marine Corps War Memorial pays tribute to each patriotic Marine to have served and paid the ultimate price for achieving America’s independence since 1775.
Iwo Jima Memorial was found in 1954 and takes cues from ‘Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima,’ the wartime photograph captured by Joe Rosenthal during WWII. Both the monument and the inspiration behind it depict six US Marines, who try to raise the national flag on the top of the hill during the Battle of Iwo Jima.
The Marines raised a bigger flag realizing the importance of battle of Iwo Jima to America’s freedom, and Joe Rosenthal climbed all the way up to the hill to capture a more viewable picture. This was done to make the flag on the photo ‘Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima’ stand out. It even won the photographer a Pulitzer Prize for photography in 1945.
The photo features Marines namely Michael Strank, Ira Hayes, John Bradley, Rene Gagnon, Franklin Sousley, and Harlon Block, piling a pole with clouds forming, and the national flag fluttering high. The countrymen were inspired by the patriotic moment and hence it was decided to bring them home, although only Hayes, Bradley and Gagnon went on to survive the Iwo Jima battle.
The Marine Corps War Memorial depicts all six of them. The granite monument in Arlington Ridge Park was sculpted by Felix de Weldon based on their inputs. Initially, the face of the Marines was clay modeled, but later it was cast with the help of skillful artisans in 3 years’ time.
The Marine Corps War Memorial is undergoing a renovation as of now, which is set to complete by February 2018. Millions of people visit the monument, and so should you when you tour the topmost tourist attractions in Washington via DC bus tours. Another point of interest similar to the Monumental Statue in Arlington is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, which honors more than 58000 US military casualties of the Vietnam War.