The U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Georgetown, recreates one of the most memorable images of World War II: the moment when the Marine Corps’ Fifth Division raised the American flag atop Mount Suribachi, on the small Japanese island of Iwo Jima.
The memorial’s 32-foot-high statue is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning photo that captured the Marines’ flag-raising on February 23, 1945 — a pivotal moment in the U.S. war campaign in the Pacific. Three survivors of the flag-raising posed for sculptor Felix W. de Weldon, who modeled their faces in clay before casting the statue in bronze.
While the memorial depicts one famous wartime incident, it pays tribute to all U.S. Marines who have given their lives in battle since 1775. The base of the memorial lists names and dates of every principal Marine Corps engagement since the founding of the Corps. You’ll also find a quote from U.S. Navy Admiral Chester Nimitz, on the Marines who took Iwo Jima: “Uncommon valor was a common virtue.”
The U.S. Marine Corps conducts a sunset review parade on memorial grounds, Tuesdays from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., from June through August. Admission is free, and there is a free shuttle bus from the Arlington National Cemetery Visitors Center.
For more on the memorial, visit: www.nps.gov/gwmp/learn/historyculture/usmcwarmemorial.htm.
Marine Corps War Memorial — Iwo Jima Memorial
Hours: Open to the public year-round, 24 hours a day.
Parking: Limited zoned parking is available on side streets in Arlington. Visitors may also park at the nearby Arlington National Cemetery Visitors Center, for a small fee.
Gray Line Bus Tours