When I began my career, my first job came with an unexpected perk. My walk to and from work in Arlington, Virginia, took me past the Marine Corps War Memorial—better known as the Iwo Jima Memorial. When the weather was nice, I’d spend as much time as possible gazing at the awe-inspiring monument. Sometimes in the summer, my commute was even better, with the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon practicing nearby in the morning, and the Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps performing there in the evening.
The memorial is sculptor Felix de Weldon’s masterpiece and, at 78 feet tall, is the world’s largest bronze statue. It’s based on the greatest war photo ever snapped: Joe Rosenthal’s image of six Marines raising the U.S. flag over Iwo Jima’s Mount Suribachi.
In his article, “‘The Common Will Triumphant,’” Mark Folse commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima by exploring how the Corps and the American public draw inspiration from the Marines’ heavy sacrifice and ultimate victory on that volcanic island. As the author points out, Rosenthal’s iconic photo and Weldon’s magnificent sculpture embody and keep alive those Iwo Jima themes.