While many believe the iconic statue in Washington D.C. to be a memorial solely dedicated to the Marines who gave their lives on Iwo Jima, the Marine Corps War Memorial is dedicated all Marines. From Lt. John Fitzpatrick to Lt. Almar Fitzgerald and beyond, many Marines have given the ultimate sacrifice for this nation and what better way to memorialize their sacrifice than the inspiring vision of the Iwo Jima flag raising.Photographs hardly do it justice. The entire statue stands 78 feet tall, towering over Arlington Ridge Park. With a granite base and larger than life Marines, it is a sight to behold. One feels immensely small, yet emboldened by the figures. Average men, who were called to do more than average. The famous words of Admiral Chester W. Nimitz are inscribed inside a golden wreath on the west-facing front; "Uncommon valor was a common virtue" followed by the Marine Corps motto of "Semper Fidelis" at the bottom.Around the entire memorial inscribed on the granite are famous battles and campaigns fought by the Marine Corps since their inception on November 10th, 1775, on the far side, (facing east) another inscription; "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."
Much like the tomb of the unknown soldier, it is difficult to put into words the emotions and feelings one gets when standing before this memorial. Feelings of pride, as you remember the great men who stood in defense of this nation and an immense sadness that washes over you as you remember the brothers who gave their lives.We encouraged you to visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier when you visit Washington D.C. After paying tribute there, you should visit the statue depicting the second flag raising atop Mount Suribachi with Marines; Sergeant Michael Block, Corporal HarlonBlock, Private First Class Ira Hayes, Private First Class ReneGagnon, Private First Class Harold Schultz, and Private First Class Franklin Sousley.Semper Fidelis Marines.