The Marine Corp Memorial Essay example

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The Marine Corp Memorial

On February 19, 1945 five Marines and one Sailor participated in an event that would forever change the course of events for the Marine Corps. Undoubtedly one of the most powerful images of the 20th century is the flag raising atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima. The flag raising captured the courage, commitment and honor that these Marines held as they reached the top. These individuals were only doing what they were instructed to do, but it was the Pulitzer Prize winning photograph that was taken by Joe Rosenthal that turned this war time event into a world wide historical event. Behind the eagle, globe and anchor, the flag raising has taken the form of a second emblem for the Marine Corps.

Felix de Weldon
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The Marines knew de Weldon’s version of the statue and that was the statue they wanted. Ten professors from American University collectively dismissed de Weldon’s sculpture as mediocrity and called it “ordinary,” “ineffective,” and “unsculpturesque.” Donald De Lu president of the National Sculpture Society stated that:

“Instead of immortalizing the brave Marines who have given their lives for their country, the proposed design, if permitted to be carried out would be only a source of bitter resentment, violent criticism, and ridicule.”

William Wheeler, later to become the President of the Sculpture Society, submitted as letter to Secretary of State Forrestal claiming numerous wrong doings by de Weldon. These charges ranged from shady business practices, expired visa, misrepresenting art, and shipping busts that were still wet and the suing for damages when they arrived damaged. In late 1947 the monument received another setback. The Commission of Fine Art, which has the aesthetic approval of all monuments placed in the Washington area, rejected the memorial because of its size and the location that was selected. Later that same year the Marine Corps War Memorial Foundation was formed with General Denig as president and Harry Dash as head of finance. It was later discovered that Harry Dash was embezzling funds amounting to over $100,000 of the contributions. This setback almost put an end to the memorial but though the tenacity of a

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