In honor of the 65th Anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, here are six facts about the iconic statue:
1. President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially dedicated the memorial on November 10, 1954 – 179 years after the Continental Marines were first established.
2. The memorial was created in honor of Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal’s iconic photograph of U.S. Marines raising the flag over Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, on February 23, 1945.
3. Austrian-born American sculptor Felix de Weldon, serving with the U.S. Navy at the time, was so moved by the image that he immediately constructed a scale model of the flag raising. It would take him another nine and a half years to complete the full-sized model.
4. The identities of the Marines who raised the flag have long been a topic of debate – just this year the Marine Corps identified Cpl. Harold P. Keller as one of the six original men to lift the flag.
5. The flag flies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, per presidential proclamation.
6. No public funds were used to create the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial. The entire cost of the statue was covered through donation by Marines, friends of Marines, and members of the Navy.