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U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art (National Historic Landmark)

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The US Marine Corps War Memorial is probably the most iconic image in American military history. The memorial depicts six men raising the American flag over Iwo Jima as a sign that the Pacific campaign against the Japanese was finally coming to a close. The memorial was dedicated to the marines who gave their lives for our country.

The US Marine Corp Memorial
A picture taken during the Sunset Parade

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Japan began to capture a number of islands throughout the Pacific in the early years of World War Two to maintain control of oil and other resources they needed. Each island served as a buffer against the United States so that they could build their fighting forces to a level that would match the United States. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii. The U.S. Navy's main fleet survived the ill-fated attack because it was at sea during the raid. A retaliatory attack against Japan was ordered by U.S. officials. Subsequently, U.S. forces began to recapture each island that the Japanese had taken and by 1945 were poised to take the island of Iwo Jima as a staging ground for an assault against the Japanese mainland. 

On February 19, 1945, following an ineffective bombing campaign, the United States Marine Corps invaded the island. U.S. marines surrounded the mountain on Iwo Jima and climbed to the top to take control of the island in less than four days. Six soldiers, five Marines, and one navy hospital corpsman raised the American flag at the top of the mountain. This picture became the inspiration behind the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, as the raising of the American flag signified the end of the Pacific campaign against the Japanese. 

On November 10,1954, the 179th anniversary of the founding of the U.S. Marine Corps, President Eisenhower presided over the dedication of the memorial. The memorial is situated near the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Memorial, and the U.S. Capitol on the National Mall. Beginning in the spring of each year and running through mid-August, musical and marching units from Marine Barracks honor their fellow marines during Sunset Parades, which take place on the lawn adjacent to the memorial. 

Sources

Marine Barracks Washington, D.C. (n.d.). Retrieved October 27, 2014, from http://www.barracks.marines.mil/Parades/SunsetParade.aspx US Marine Corps War Memorial. (n.d.). Retrieved October 27, 2014, from http://www.nps.gov/gwmp/historyculture/usmcwarmemorial.htm Marine Corps War Memorial. (n.d.). Retrieved October 27, 2014, from http://www.marinemarathon.com/MCM_Vault/Marine_Corps_War_Memorial.htm

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US Marine Corps War Memorial
Arlington, VA 0
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  • Military History
This location was created on 2014-10-27 by Joshua Kirwan .   It was last updated on 2017-02-03 by Marc Wolloch .

This entry has been viewed 283 times within the past year

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