This statue is written ” In honor and memory of the men of the United States Marine Corps who have given their lives to their country since 10 November 1775.” and was dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in a ceremony on November 10, 1954, the 179th anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps. The United States Marine Corps War Memorial represents this nation’s gratitude to Marines and those who have fought beside them. The statue indicated the most memorial incident of World War II, but the memorial was also for those who have given their lives for the United States since 1775. According to the national service park, Joe Rosenthal of the Associated Press caught the afternoon flag-raising in an iconic photograph that eventually won a Pulitzer Prize. Sculptor Felix W. de Weldon, then on duty with the US Navy was moved by the image and constructed first a scale model and then a life-size model of it which was Gagnon, Hayes, and Bradley, the three survivors of the flag raising while the others were killed on Iwo Jima, posed for the sculptor as he modeled their faces in clay.
I can’t imagine how these men felt on this day. If I could have had a chance to sit down with each men and have a full conversation with them about their experience being in the War, I would learn so much from them. We must be extremely grateful for the people who serve our country, no matter what.