The Iwo Jima Memorial (also known as the U. S. Marine Corps War Memorial) is a military memorial statue outside the walls of the Arlington National Cemetery and next to the Netherlands Carillon, in Arlington, Virginia, in the United States. The memorial is dedicated to all personnel of the United States Marine Corps who have died in the defense of their country since 1775. Felix de Weldon designed the massive sculpture which was based on the iconic photo Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, taken during the Battle of Iwo Jima by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal. (2) In 1951, Work commenced in 1951 on creating a cast bronze memorial based on the photo, with the figures 32 feet tall and the flagpole 60 feet long. The casting process, which required the work of experienced artisans, took nearly 3 years. The granite base of the memorial bears two inscriptions: (2) •
"In honor and memory of the men of the United States Marine Corps who have given their lives to their country since 10 November 1775" •
"Uncommon Valor Was a Common Virtue." This is a tribute by Admiral Chester Nimitz to the fighting men on Iwo Jima. (2) The location and date of every major Marine Corps engagement up to the present are inscribed around the base of the memorial. The base is made entirely of Swedish diabase from Östra Göinge Municipality, in the southernmost province of Scania. (2) The 32-foot-high sculpture of the Iwo Jima Memorial was inspired by a Pulitzer Prize winning photograph 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. (1) The memorial features the Marines and Sailor who raised the second...
Cited: (1) Cooper, Rachel. “Iwo Jima Memorial - U. S. Marine Corps War Memorial.” About.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2010. .
(2) “Marine Corps War Memorial.” Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2010. .
(3) “United States Marine Corps War Memorial.” NPS.gov. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2010. .
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