Expect big changes to come to the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. According to ARLnow, the recently signed National Defense Authorization Act has approved funding for a visitor center at the memorial with a public restroom facility. There are no reports yet as to where exactly the center will be built.
The bill that authorized construction of the restrooms was funded by local philanthropist David Rubenstein. Rubenstein is also known for funding other local projects, such as the Washington Monument’s post-earthquake repairs and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ endowment.
Since August 2017, public access has been limited to the memorial, due to a $5.37 million renovation, which includes washing and waxing the structure, re-gilding its lettering, and improving lighting. There are also plans for new signs, shrubs, and trees as well as a repaved roadway and footpath around the structure.
For those who may not be familiar with the memorial, the statue is based off of a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph, captured by Joe Rosenthal of the Associated Press. The photograph shows a group of six Marines raising a flag in Iwo Jima, a tiny island 660 miles south of Tokyo, after the fourth and fifth Marine Divisions invaded the island to capture Mount Suribachi.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicated the 32-foot-high memorial on November 10, 1954 to all U.S. Marine Corp personnel who have died in the defense of the U.S. since 1775.
The memorial has an average of 1.5 million visitors per year.
• Visitor Center Approved for Iwo Jima Memorial [ARLnow]
• Iwo Jima Memorial to get a facelift [Curbed DC]
• 17 D.C. area military monuments, museums, and memorials [Curbed DC]