U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial Rehabilitation

Before and After Rehabilitation
US Marine Corps War Memorial Before Rehabilitation US Marine Corps War Memorial After Rehabilitation
US Marine Corps War Memorial Before Rehabilitation NPS Photo
US Marine Corps War Memorial After Rehabilitation NPS Photo



 
US Marine Corps War Memorial depicts marines raising a U.S. flag.
U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial after rehabilitation.

NPS Photo

February 2020 Update:

The U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial has been completely rehabilitated. The project included new engravings, cleaning and waxing of the memorial, brazing bronze seams and re-gilding letters and inscriptions on the sculpture base. Every inch of the 32-foot-tall statues of Marines raising the flag was examined. Holes, cracks and seams on the bronze sculpture were brazed to prevent water damage.

The rehabilitation of the sculpture and surrounding parkland, the specially designed onsite exhibits and the new videos were made possible through a generous $5.37 million donation from businessman and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein to the National Park Foundation. Rubenstein made the donation to honor his father’s service in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Two new videos tell the stories of the historic flag raising and the sculpture itself. The videos, available to watch online or download, tell the stories of the flag raising on Mount Suribachi and the creation of the memorial. They are ideal for families as they prepare for a visit, tour companies to play for their customers, or simply to learn more about a historic moment and the memorial that followed.

The U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial was dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on Nov. 10, 1954, the 179th anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps. Over 1.5 million visitors come to the memorial each year.

 
Shot of the new USMC War Memorial Access Road
The new concrete access road.

NPS Photo

June 2018 Update:

The US Marine Corps War Memorial Access Road has been reopened! This marks the completion of the second phase in a three phase rehabilitation project. The first phase, the cleaning and rehabilitation of the memorial, was completed last November.

The US Marine Corps War Memorial is visited annually by about 1.5 million visitors. Many of these visitors arrive in buses that use the park access road. The new concrete roadway will be able to better withstand the amount of visitation and better accommodate special park uses, like the Marine Corps Marathon. All three phases were made possible by David Rubenstein’s generous donation.

Later this year, visitors to the memorial will see a rehabilitation of the grounds. This phase will improve the existing bollard pathway lighting to enhance the evening experience and improve visitor safety, as well as install new landscaping consistent with the historical design of the memorial. Additionally, new signs and waysides will be installed on the site.

The memorial will remain open to the public throughout this final phase, but there may be impacts to the visitor experience while work occurs at different parts of the site.

 
Left side shows the new concrete road and the right shows the old asphalt road.
In this comparison image, you can see the new concrete and accessible road on the left and the old asphalt road on the right.  The new concrete road is more accessible and durable while still maintaining the historic footprint of the original memorial design.

NPS Photo

 
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B-Roll video of the rehabilitation work done on the USMC War Memorial sculpture and pedestal as well as a the engraving of Afghanistan and Iraq.

 
Sunlight beams through the Marine Corps Memorial
Sunlight beams through the newly rehabilitated USMC War Memorial.

NPS Photo.

November Update:

As of November 2017 (National Veterans and Military Families Month), the National Park Service (NPS) has repaired and waxed the iconic Iwo Jima sculpture, re-gilded the engravings on the sculpture’s pedestal, and added the engravings of Afghanistan and Iraq to the pedestal. The engravings for Afghanistan and Iraq include only the years the campaigns began, 2001 and 2003, respectively. The U.S. Marine Corps History Division has advised to leave the dates open-ended with room to engrave end dates in the future. The USMC History Division has also provided criteria for future engravings. It is important to note that the memorial is a tribute to Marine Corps war dead in various campaigns over the Corps’ 242-year history. It is not intended to be a monument to Marines in general.

The complete site rehabilitation is made possible by a $5.37 million donation to the National Park Foundation from David M. Rubenstein and was a leadership gift to the National Park Foundation’s Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks.

By fall 2018, the NPS expects to complete the project, which includes new lighting, landscaping, and infrastructure. This gift also provides the funding needed to enrich educational materials and park signs to teach visitors about the importance of the memorial. The next phase of work should be underway by spring 2018. The National Park Service will work with the U.S. Marine Corps to plan an appropriate re-dedication or grand opening event when the project is complete (expected fall 2018). Visitors are still able to walk close to the memorial as this work progresses.
 
Engraving Afghanistan
Afghanistan is engraved on the pedestal of the memorial.

NPS Photo.

 
 
Marine Corps Memorial Covered with Scaffolding
Scaffolding has been erected around the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial.

NPS

September, 2017:


Work has begun on the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, sometimes referred to as the Iwo Jima Memorial. Scaffolding has been constructed around the memorial as contractors begin the process of cleaning the statue. Visitors are still able to walk close to the memorial as the work progresses.
 
Staff inspecting the memorial.
Staff inspect the memorial.

NPS Photo

Construction began in August 2017 for the rehabilitation of the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial. As of September 1, 2017, contractors have nearly completed constructing scaffolding around the entire statue. A condition assessment is being done prior to the cleaning of the bronze statue. It has been a few years since staff has been able to inspect the statue this closely.

The next step will be the actual cleaning of the statue, scheduled to occur over the next couple months.

 

ARLINGTON, Va. – A multi-million dollar project to rehabilitate the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, commonly referred to as the Iwo Jima Memorial, and improve surrounding parkland begins Tuesday, August 15, temporarily limiting some public access through February 2018.

The project, announced in April 2015, was made possible through a $5.37 million donation from businessman and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein to commemorate the bravery of U.S. Marines who gave their lives to defend freedom and to honor the continued patriotism and sacrifice of America’s military families.

The memorial will be surrounded by scaffolding during much of the project and the loop road and parking spaces will be closed. Pedestrians will still have access to the memorial plaza from Meade Street. Visitors are encouraged to use public transportation. The memorial is within a 15-minute walk of both the Rosslyn and Arlington National Cemetery Metro stations. There will be a small tour bus pick-up and drop-off area along Meade Street.

The National Park Service will re-gild the engravings on the sculpture's pedestal, clean and wax the sculpture and granite base, and improve lighting, landscaping, and infrastructure. This gift will also provide the funding needed to enrich educational materials and park signs.

The road will be rebuilt in its current configuration, but with materials to better support the heavy weight of the many tour buses that use the road daily.

The U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial was dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on November 10, 1954, the 179th anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps. Over 1.5 million visitors come to the memorial each year.

Last updated: February 21, 2020

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George Washington Memorial Parkway Headquarters
700 George Washington Memorial Parkway

McLean, VA 22101

Phone:

(703) 289-2500

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