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“Metaphor magic”

U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial
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Washington DC Evening Tour
Ranked #3 of 95 things to do in Arlington
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Owner description: Commonly called the "Iwo Jima Memorial," the statue is a depiction of the famous raising of the U.S. flag on Iwo Jima and is dedicated to all Marines who have given their lives defending that flag.
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
1,092 reviews
887 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,841 helpful votes
“Metaphor magic”
Reviewed 5 July 2014

Near Arlington National Cemetery, where President John F. Kennedy reposes, this incredible bronze sculpture created by Felix W. de Weldon from 1951 to 1954 has metaphoric innuendo galore. Semper fidelis (shortened in Marine context to semper fi) is Latin for “always faithful” or “always loyal”. That maxim is inscribed in the granite base represented by two profound testaments: “Uncommon Valor Was A Common Virtue” 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”.

A few blocks south of Key Bridge Marriott and the Rosslyn Metro Station on Fort Myer Drive (which becomes North Meade St.) and Arlington Blvd., a large park is home to the US Marine Corps War Memorial, locally called “Iwo Jima” because of Joe Rosenthal’s iconic photograph of five Marines and one sailor raising the American flag after a long battle on Japan’s Iwo Jima Island. The sculpture resulting from that photograph symbolizes teamwork, no one individual raised the flag. Not only did Marines raise the flag, a sailor from the US Navy participated. Truly, uncommon valor was a common virtue that seems to be lost with the “me” generations that have followed those valiant soldiers. I found inspiration and solace at this site that costs nothing, but the emotional toll exacted is sobering.

While visiting, busloads of youngsters ran around counting the number of legs on the conglomerate sculpture. “Why?” I asked, and several said rumor has it that there’s an extra leg. A quick Web search indicates that, possibly, there are 13 hands raising the flag, but only 12 legs, that I could count. This is part of the extensive National Park Service, which identifies information at its website, nps.gov/gwmp/historyculture/usmcwarmemorial.htm

Visited May 2014
2 Thank DeanMurphy2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Highbridge UK
Level Contributor
72 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Wonderful statue”
Reviewed 5 July 2014

The US Marine Corps Memorial is just 10 minutes walk from the entrance to Arlington Cemetery and absolutely worth the walk

The statue is much larger then we expected and the detail in it is incredible including mud on their boots and the real flag flying is a great little touch

Visited June 2014
1 Thank CraigBarnett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
29 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great for Fireworks on the 4th!”
Reviewed 5 July 2014

Get there early! The area to the right of the statue (keep going until you can see the Capitol, Washington Monument, and all of the people with camera tripods) is great for viewing the fireworks display. The monument looks even more amazing lit up at night.

Visited July 2014
Thank Kathryn T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Johns, Michigan
Level Contributor
158 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Worth the walk”
Reviewed 3 July 2014

This memorial is set apart from others and is about a 15 minute walk from Arlington National Cemetery, but it is worth it. The memorial is one of the most popular military images in America, so it's definitely worth seeing. There isn't much else in the area. You can walk to the downtown area from the memorial, but you have to cross some busy streets/highway.

Visited April 2014
Thank alwaysreadyfortravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC
Level Contributor
35 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2014

An amazing tribute the our Marines. The size and detail of the Memorial was surprising and impressive.

Visited June 2014
Thank Arctic-Art
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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