Iwo Jima Flag Raising Monument to Find a Home at Camp Pendleton
Camp Pendleton CA— In recognition of the Marine Corps 240th anniversary and the 70th anniversary of the battle of Iwo Jima, Iwo Jima Monument West recently announced its national initiative to raise funds to purchase an original Felix de Weldon sculpture of the Iwo Jima Flag raising, the representation for the famous flag-raising Marine Corps War Memorial statue in Arlington, Va., and transport it to Marine Corps Camp Pendleton.
Iwo Jima Monument West, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, plans to build a memorial site that will reflect the monument’s importance to the Marine Corps and the nation as one of America’s greatest and most profound symbols of courage.
“This piece of history and symbol of patriotism is currently residing in a Connecticut storage facility after sitting on the USS Intrepid Museum for 12 years and having not sold at a NYC Bonham’s auction,” said Iwo Jima Monument West Founder Laura Dietz. “Finally, we can give this monument an appropriate home where some 450,000 Marines traveled through on their way to the war in the Pacific. The 5th Marine Division, founded at Camp Pendleton, was tasked to take Mount Suribachi, while the 3rd and 4th Marines fought in other locations.”
The 5-ton, 20 1/2-foot monument commemorates the planting of the American flag on Mount Suribachi in February 1945, during one of the deadliest battles in Marine Corps history. The 36-day battle of World War II injured over 26,000 people, of which 6,000 Marines and nearly 1,000 Navy-related personnel died. The historical moment of the U.S. flag raising was captured in a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph and has since become the iconic image of the Marines of that era.
“How soon can we get the monument to Camp Pendleton? This is a timely event. Many of the Marines who fought in Iwo Jima are dying, and I don’t know how long my buddies and I can hold on to see it at Pendleton,” said Iwo Jima survivor Sgt. Maj. Mike Mervosh.
The project’s goal is to inspire Marines, generation after generation, and to illicit pride in all Americans as they see the memorial on a hillside facing the Pacific Ocean. The entire project for moving the Iwo Jima Monument from coast-to-coast, and building the memorial at Camp Pendleton is estimated around $10 million.
Continued Dietz, “Unlike other memorials, every donor, irrespective of the size of the donation, will have their name, if they choose, on an electronic board for generations to see. Just as every human life is of equal value, so is the value of the goodwill of this nation to support such a historical pursuit. For the Marine Corps, this monument represents every Marine who has ever served and died in service for our nation. We want this memorial site to be a source of inspiration, education and pride for Americans for hundreds of years to come.”
If all goes according to plan, the West Coast will be home to one of the original Iwo Jima monuments by the end of 2016. To learn more and donate to this historical project, please call 844-IWO-JIMA (844-496-5462) or visit: http://www.marinesoniwojima.com/memorial/.
About Iwo Jima Monument West
Iwo Jima Monument West, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is dedicated to purchasing and transporting an original sculpture by Felix de Weldon of the Iwo Jima Flag Raising to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. The organization plans to build a memorial site that will reflect the monument’s importance to the Marine Corps and the nation as one of America’s greatest and most profound symbols of courage as captured by the famous photograph by Joseph Rosenthal that electrified a war-weary nation. This project is designed to forever inspire and educate all generations that America is and will always remain “the home of the brave.”