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The maritime Corps war Memorial stands together a prize of this grateful Nation’s esteem for the honored dead the the U.S. Marine Corps. When the frostbite depicts one of the most iconic photos of people War II, the memorial is devoted to all that have given their lives in the defense of the united States, because 1775.

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The naval Corps battle Memorial depicts the elevating of the American flag at mount Suribachi top top 23 February 1945 by U.S. in world War II during the fight of Iwo Jima.

The monument is located in Arlington, Virginia top top a 7½-acre tract of land managed by the room of the Interior. The site is top top a hill around 100 feet above the grape max River, and also offers a scenic view of the Nation’s capital.

Iwo Jima, which method Sulfur Island, was strategically essential as an waiting base because that fighter escorts sustaining long-range bombing missions against mainland Japan. Because of the distance in between mainland Japan and also U.S. Bases in the Mariana Islands, the catch of Iwo Jima would administer an emergency landing piece for crippled B-29 planes returning from bombing runs. The seizure that Iwo would permit for sea and air blockades, the capacity to conduct intensive air bombardment and to damage the enemy's air and naval capabilities. The seizure that Iwo Jima was considered necessary, but the prize would certainly not come easy. The fighting the took place during the 36-day attack would it is in immortalized in the words of Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, who said, "Among the american who offered on Iwo Island, unusual valor to be a usual virtue."

On the morning that 19 February 1945, the fourth and 5th Marine departments invaded the Island the Iwo Jima as part of basic MacArthur’s “island hopping” campaign. The small island lies 660 miles south of Tokyo, Japan.

The 28th Regiment of the 5th Marine department was ordered to capture the extinct volcano ~ above the southern reminder of the island named Mount Suribachi. The reached the basic of the volcano top top the afternoon that 21 February and by nightfall the the next day, the had the hill surrounded.

Flag Raisings early the morning of 23 February, the from simple Company, 2nd Battalion began to rise the volcano. By 1030 they had reached the top and erected a small American flag. Later on that afternoon, five and also a navy corpsman increased a larger much more visible flag. The second flag increasing is what is illustrated in the monument in ~ Arlington, Virginia.

The and Sailor, that participated in the flag raising, portrayed in the frosting are listed in the table below:

Name Rank Hometown
Michael Strank* Sergeant Conemaugh, PA
Harlan H. Block* Corporal Weslaco, TX
Franklin R. Sousley* Private very first Class Ewing, KY
Rene A. Gagnon Private an initial Class Manchester, NH
Ira Hayes Private very first Class Bapchule, AZ
Harold Schultz Private very first Class Detroit, MI
Those names marked with one * were killed throughout the later on phases in the battle of Iwo Jima.

The and also Sailors who battled on Iwo Jima wore sage green herringbone twill, much better know as HBT’s, uniforms. The typical footgear was turbulent out leather shoes well-known as “boondockers” and the ensemble was topped off with the M1 steel helmet. These uniform items space accurately recreated in the memorial sculpture.

At the conclusion of human being War II, the United claims Congress commissioned de Weldon to construct the Iwo Jima frostbite in the realist tradition based upon the famed photograph the Joe Rosenthal—of the linked Press agency that was handled 23 February 1945—and the style of Horace W. Peaslee. De Weldon take it 9 year to do the memorial, and also was helped by thousands of other sculptors.

Sculpting Felix de Weldon, who operated on the task from 1945 till its perfect in 1954, sculpted the marine Corps battle Memorial. He was born on 12 April 1907 in Vienna, Austria and also died 3 June 2003 in Woodstock, Virginia. He was buried in Arlington Cemetary.

Two that the threesurviving flag raisers—Gagnon andHayes—posed for the sculptor, that modeled their faces in clay. All obtainable pictures and physical attributes of the 3 who had given their lives—Strank, Block, and also Sousley—were built up and then used in the modeling of their faces.

Once the statue was completed in plaster, it to be disassembled and trucked come Brooklyn, N.Y. For casting in bronze. The casting process took nearly 3 year to complete. ~ the 108 parts had been cast, cleaned, finished, and chased, they were reassembled into around a dozen pieces and shipped earlier to ours Nation’s resources by a three-truck convoy. In Arlington, they to be bolted and welded together from the inside via a catch door in one of the numbers cartridge belts.

The total cost that the memorial was $850,000 the was paid for with personal donations native and also friends that the marine Corps. No public funds to be used.

The 32-foot high figures are shown erecting a 60-foot copper flagpole native which a fabric flag paris 24 hours a day in accordance v the Presidential Proclamation that 12 June 1961. The statue is the largest bronze statue in the civilization at 78 feet tall and weighing 100 tons. The numbers are armed with either a 16-foot-long M-1 Garand rifle or a 12-foot-long M-1 carbine. Your combat knives room 5½ feet long and also their helmets room 3½ feet in diameter. The statue rests top top a 700-ton concrete base surrounded by 389 lots of extremely polished Bonaccord black granite from Sweden. from maritime, Washington, D.C. Do their famous Sunset Parade in prior of the memorial every Tuesday evening at 1900 throughout the summer months. The parade functions a precision drill exhibition by the marine Corps silent Drill Platoon and also a “Music-In-Motion” power by the marine Drum and Bugle Corps.

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For much more information on the U.S. Naval Corps battle Memorial or the Sunset Parades perform there, contact the interaction Strategy Office at (202) 433-4173.