Iwo Jima Memorial Gets a New Lease on Life

by Dan Lesniak

IwoJimaFor those of us who live along the Orange Line, one of the best perks is the proximity we have to our nation’s finest memorials to our veterans and fallen heroes. We can easily visit these places of honor and take in the awe that is inspired from them, knowing that those who have fought to protect our shores are not forgotten. Back in 1954, the Iwo Jima Memorial, also known as the Marine Corps War Memorial, was dedicated by President Eisenhower. Since that time, millions of people from around the world have come to visit this monument which serves as a point of honor for the services of our Marine Corps soldiers.

The National Parks Service recently announced that the Iwo Jima Memorial is now set to get a well need restoration, or facelift as it were. This is all thanks to one Philanthropist who has offered a $5.37 million donation to bring the memorial back to its original glory. David Rubentstein, who last year gave $12.35 million to the Arlington House Robert E. Lee Museum, has put up the funds to ensure the preservation of the Iwo Jima Memorial. With this generous donation the National Parks Service will re-gild the engravings on the pedestal of the statue and wax the sculpture. There will be new landscaping and lighting as well as new education materials and new signage. When completed, the Iwo Jima Memorial will have a new lease on life.

The design of the memorial comes from one of the most iconic photographs taken in World War II, that of the raising of the American flag at the top of Mount Suribachi on the island of Iwo Jima in 1945. When it came time for the memorial to be built, sculptor Felix W. de Weldon was so moved by the picture that it became the foundation for the statue. He was able to meet with the three survivors of the flag raising, using them as models and thus capturing their faces and expressions in fine detail. Pictures of the three marines who helped raise the flag and gave their lives doing so, were also used to capture as much of their essence as possible and create a truly lifelike recreation of this historic moment. It was this attention to detail that has made the Iwo Jima Memorial a place of wonder and awe.

With the generous donation to restore the Iwo Jima Memorial, millions more will be able to take in this incredible icon of Arlington. It is these memorials that help make up the character of our urban village. This is just one of the aspects of Arlington that make it a wonderful place to live. If you are looking to buy or sell your home, myself, and the Orange Line Living team are ready to support you directly. We work with you to provide our unique and specialized services so you can turn your plans into reality. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us directly at 571-969-7653, or at [email protected].

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