Remembering WWII

Jacob Koenig, a Milton High School sophomore in Art II created this work of art, which appeared in the art show at the Milton House. Jacob used pencil, then marker. “I wanted to do something other than an animal outline, and I like WWII a lot,” he said. The image is based off of the iconic photograph and United States Marine Corps War Memorial. About the memorial The National Park Service gives details about the memorial: The United States Marine Corps War Memorial represents this nation’s gratitude to Marines and those who have fought beside them. While the statue depicts one of the most famous incidents of World War II, the memorial is dedicated to all Marines who have given their lives in defense of the United States since 1775. The tiny island of Iwo Jima lies 660 miles south of Tokyo. Mount Suribachi, an extinct volcano that forms the narrow southern tip of the island, rises 550 feet to dominate the ocean around it. US troops had recaptured most of the other islands in the Pacific Ocean that the Japanese had taken in 1941 and 1942. In 1945 Iwo Jima became a primary objective in American plans to bring the Pacific campaign to a successful conclusion. On the morning of February 19, 1945, the 4th and 5th Marine Divisions invaded Iwo Jima after an ineffective 72-hour bombardment. The 28th Regiment of the 5th Division, was ordered to capture Mount Suribachi. They reached the base of the mountain on the afternoon of February 21 and, by nightfall the next day, had almost completely surrounded it. On the morning of February 23, Marines of Company E, 2nd Battalion, started the tortuous climb up the rough terrain to the top. At about 10:30 am men all over the island were thrilled by the sight of a small American flag flying from atop Mount Suribachi. That afternoon, when the slopes were clear of enemy resistance, a second, larger flag was raised in the same location. Joe Rosenthal of the Associated Press caught the afternoon flag-raising in an iconic photograph that eventually won a Pulitzer Prize. Sculptor Felix W. de Weldon, then on duty with the US Navy, was so moved by the image that he constructed first a scale model and then a life-size model of it. Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes, and John Bradley posed for the sculptor as he modeled their faces in clay. These three men were believed to be the survivors of the famous flag raising (the others were killed on Iwo Jima). The US Marine Corps has since concluded that John Bradley was not in the famous image of the flag raising. To learn more about the identities of the flag raisers, please read the US Marine Corps statement on the Iwo Jima flag raisers. All available pictures and physical statistics of the three who had given their lives were collected and then used in the modeling of their faces. Once the statue was completed in plaster, it was carefully disassembled and trucked to Brooklyn, N.Y., for casting in bronze. The casting process, which required the work of experienced artisans, took nearly 3 years. After the parts had been cast, cleaned, finished, and chased, they were reassembled into approximately a dozen pieces--the largest weighing more than 20 tons--and brought back to Washington, D.C., by a three-truck convoy. Here they were bolted and welded together, and the statue was treated with preservatives. President Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicated the memorial in a ceremony on November 10, 1954, the 179th anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps. For more information see https://www.nps.gov/gwmp/learn/historyculture/usmcwarmemorial.htm

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