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Inspired by a Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of the American flag raising atop Mount Suribachi, the Iwo Jima Memorial, also known as the United States Marine Corps War Memorial, was built as a tribute to all the marine personnel who gave their lives in the Battle of Iwo Jima and "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" (an inscription engraved on the granite base of the memorial).

On February 23, 1945, Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal beheld the flag raising done by five Marines and a Navy corpsman of the Allied Forces after invading and securing the small Pacific Island of Iwo Jima which was occupied by the Japanese troops. While the United States flag was being raised on top of Mount Suribachi, Rosenthal took pictures of the most memorable historical event during the World War II. One of the pictures, entitled ?Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima?, became an icon and was depicted in a life size sculpture by Felix de Weldon. The sculpture of the six soldiers, raising a 60 feet high flagpole, is 32 feet tall mounted on a 10 feet high pedestal. This is one of the official sites that the United States flag is required to be demonstrated 24 hours a day.

As part of the celebration of the 179th anniversary of the Marine Corps on November 10, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially dedicated the memorial and since then several replicas of the memorial has been created including the plaster working model at the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen, Texas and the ones at the National Iwo Jima Memorial in Newington, Connecticut and Fall River Heritage State Park in Massachusetts. Downsized models of the Iwo Jima Memorial are found at these Marine bases: Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in South Carolina, and at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kāne'ohe Bay, Hawaii.
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