Sheringham War Memorial

USMC War Memorial

The Marine Corps War Memorial is a military memorial statue located near the Arlington National Cemetery and the Netherlands Carillon in Rosslyn, Virginia, United States. The memorial is dedicated to all personnel of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) who have died in the defense of their country since 1775. Its design was based on the iconic photo of the raising of the Flag on Iwo Jima by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal.

The memorial features the following Marines and Sailor who raised the second flag over Iwo Jima: Sgt.Michael Strank, USMC; Cpl. Harlon Block, USMC; PFC. Franklin Sousley, USMC; PFC. Rene Gagnon, USMC; PFC. Ira Hayes, USMC; and PhM. 2/c John Bradley, USN.

History of the Memorial

In 1951, work commenced on creating a cast bronze memorial based on the photo, with the figures 10 meters (32 ft) tall and the flagpole 20 meters (60 ft) long. The granite base of the memorial bears two inscriptions:

  • "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"
  • "Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue." — a tribute by Admiral Chester Nimitz to the fighting men on Iwo Jima.

The location and date of every major Marine Corps engagement up to the present is inscribed around the base of the memorial.

The memorial was officially dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on November 10, 1954, the 179th anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy issued a proclamation that a U.S. Flag should fly from the memorial 24 hours a day — one of the few official sites where this is permitted.

Similar statues

The original plaster working model of the statue currently stands in Harlingen, Texas at the Marine Military Academy, a private Marine Corps-inspired youth military academy. The Academy is also the final resting place of Corporal Harlon Block, USMC, one of the Marines immortalized in the iconic image (seen at base of flag). Corporal Block was killed in action on Iwo Jima.

The National Iwo Jima Memorial in Newington, Connecticut uses a similar design and is dedicated to the 6,821 US servicemen who died in the battle.

Number of hands

There are twelve hands in the memorial corresponding to the six figures depicted. A persistent rumor has attributed the existence of a thirteenth hand to the sculptor's wish to symbolize either all the other Marines who made the flag raising possible, or the hand of God. When informed of the rumor, the original sculptor, Felix de Weldon, exclaimed, "Thirteen hands. Who needed 13 hands? Twelve were enough.


See also


External links

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