Veterans group claims Iwo Jima Memorial is in need of repair - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Veterans group claims Iwo Jima Memorial is in need of repair

ARLINGTON, VA (NBC) - The Marine Corps War Memorial, one of the country's most iconic images, may be getting a makeover according to a memorial foundation.

The memorial, also known as the Iwo Jima Memorial, depicts the flag-raising by five Marines and a sailor on Mount Suribachi in 1945 on the island of Iwo Jima. The larger-than-life-sized bronze statue is based on a photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal and is almost 60 years old and it's finish has faded.

"The bronze should not be brown," Marine Corps War Memorial Foundation's executive director James Donovan said. "This bronze is supposed to be a Marine Corps green."

The foundation said some of the granite panels are coming loose and there are cracks and water accumulated in the structure.

The National Park Service, however, says that just one of the approximately 30 panels around the base of the memorial has subsided about an inch. Spokesman for the National Park Service Bill Line said the memorial is in very good condition.

"Back in 2005, the National Park Service conducted and completed a more than $3.5 million renovation project at the Marine Corps Memorial," Line said. "That included renovation of all the panels which I recognize are in question here."

According the Marine Times, the Marine Corps War Memorial Foundation wants to partner with the National Park Service to repair the monument.

"There is nothing in writing," Line said. "There is nothing in place other than just talk, verbal conversations about them wanting to be a partner organization."

The foundation said it also hoped to improve the experience of visiting the memorial. There are plans for improvements to restroom facilities and eventually a reception center staffed with volunteers.

Line questions the need of those enhancements.

"We would want to see why there is a need for that, and why government money and taxpayers' dollars in a tight economy would have to be spent on that sort of stuff," Line said.

The Marine Times explained that the memorial is special to tourists as well as veterans.

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