Based on Joe Rosenthal’s iconic photograph of the second flag-raising atop Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima, February 23, 1945, the statue was dedicated on November 10, 1954. The American flag flies 24 hours a day. Sculptor Felix W. de Weldon, then on duty with the U.S. Navy, began crafting a model for the statue as soon as he saw Rosenthal’s photo. The statue’s faces are those of the actual flag-raisers: Marines Sgt. Michael Strank, Cpl. Harlon H. Block, Pfc. Franklin R. Sousley, Pfc. Rene A. Gagnon, Pfc. Ira Hayes, and Navy PhM. 2/c John H. Bradley. Commonly called the Iwo Jima Statue, the Memorial commemorates the Marine dead of all our wars.