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 state 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
- 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.
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.
- See Popular Virginia Locations for Viewing the Washington, D.C. Fireworks.
- See Photos of the United States Marine Corps War Memorial.
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.
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.
- Photos of the Iwo Jima Site Today from About.com's Guide to Cruises
- More about the Battle of Iwo Jima from About.com's Guide to Military History
- Information about the Memorial and the George Washington Memorial Parkway - National Park Service Web Site
- Also by Felix de Weldon - Savannah's Waving Girl Statue