One of the informational signs around the memorial. It reads
Making a Memorial
The United States Marine Corps War Memorial stands as a symbol of our nation's
high regard for the honored dead of the Marine Corps. Although the statue
depicts one of the most famous events of World War II, the memorial is
dedicated to all Marines who have given their lives in defense of the United
States of America since 1775.
Shortly after the release of Associated Press Photographer Joe Rosenthal's
famous photo, Sculptor Felix W. de Weldon, then on duty with the U.S. Navy,
constructed a scale model followed by several life-sized statues inspired by
It was then proposed that the symbolic scene be immortalized in bronze. The
Marine Corps War Memorial Foundation organized the fundraising and creation of
the monument. After years of effort, Felix de Weldon and his assistants
completed the statue.
The memorial, designed by Horace W. Peaslee, was officially dedicated by
President Dwight D. Eisenhower on November 10, 1954. The entire cost of the
memorial was $850,000 - all donated by Marines, Naval Service members and
The 32-foot high bronze figures are shown erecting a 60-foot flagpole at the
top of Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima. Burnished in gold on the Swedish granite
are the names and dates of principal Marine Corps engagements since the
founding of the Corps.