United States Marine Corps War Memorial

Don’t miss this poignant site, also known as the Iwo Jima Memorial, honoring all members of the Marine Corps who died defending the United States.

The United States Marine Corps War Memorial depicts soldiers raising the U.S. flag on Mount Suribachi during World War II. Pay your respects at this iconic memorial, which commemorates Marines who have given their lives in battle since the Corps founding in 1775.

Admire the imposing sculpture, which stands 78 feet (23 meters) tall. It was inspired by an image captured by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal in February, 1945. The photo and statue depict five Marines and a Navy corpsman raising the U.S. flag and signaling the takeover of Iwo Jima, a small Pacific island located 660 miles (1,060 kilometers) south of Tokyo. The photo came to symbolize the heroism of the American forces in the war against Japan.

Look at the 32-foot-high (10-meter) figures, shown raising a 60-foot (18-meter) bronze flagpole. Notice the cloth flag at the top of the pole, which flies at full mast year-round. Three of the men in the photo were killed during further fighting on the island, while the three survivors posed in person for sculptor Felix W. de Weldon. The memorial was dedicated in 1954 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Examine the base of the memorial, which is made of rough Swedish granite. Inspect it to see an inscription with the names of fallen members of the U.S. Marine Corps as well as the words "In honor and in memory of the men of the United States Marine Corps who have given their lives to their country since November 10, 1775."

The United States Marine Corps War Memorial is located near Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. To get here, take the metro to Rosslyn Metro Station and then walk six blocks. The memorial is always open and admission is free. Stop here on Tuesday evenings from early June to mid-August, when hour-long drum and bugle performances are held. No visit to Arlington is complete without seeing this powerful memorial.