Issues: Museums and Memorials

United States Marine Corps War Memorial
(Iwo Jima Memorial)

On February 19, 1945 American Marines invaded Japanese soil for the first time in WWII on the island of Iwo Jima, an island roughly 2 miles wide and 4 miles long and about 660 miles south of Tokyo.  From February 19 until March 16 the ensuing battle came to be known as the Battle of Iwo Jima.

The Battle of Iwo Jima consisted of approximately 60,000 American soldiers and 20,000 Japanese soldiers.  6,821 Americans were killed at Iwo Jima and more than 20,000 were injured.  Approximately one-third of all Marines killed in WWII were killed on Iwo Jima, making the Battle of Iwo Jima the battle with the most casualties in Marine Corps history.

The Marine Corps War Memorial, located just outside of Washington DC, commemorates the American flag raising on Mount Suribachi that took place on February 23, 1945 (the fifth day of battle) as captured by news-photographer Joe Rosenthal.  While the memorial depicts the events of the Battle of Iwo Jima, the Marine Corps War Memorial is dedicated to all Marines who have served and given their lives in the defense of the United States since 1775.

Erection of the memorial began in September 1954 and officially dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on November 10, 1954, the 179th anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps.

National Iwo Jima Memorial Monument

National Iwo Jima Memorial Monument

Also dedicated to the Battle of Iwo Jima, this Connecticut-based National Iwo Jima Memorial Monument was dedicated on February 23, 1995, the 50th anniversary of the flag raising on Mt. Suribachi.  On November 11, 1995, the Iwo Jima Survivors Association lit an eternal flame adjacent to the monument, dedicated to in tribute to and in memory of all Americans who fought and died in WWII.

The National Iwo Jima Memorial Monument was conceived and designed by Dr. George Gentile, the founder and president of the Iwo Jima Survivors Association.  Funds for the monument were raised by the Iwo Jima battle survivors.