The memorial is dedicated to all personnel of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) who have died in the defense of their country since 1775.
The design was based on the iconic photo from the Battle of Iwo Jima.
The location and date of every major Marine Corps engagement up to the present is inscribed around the base of the memorial.
The memorial was officially dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on November 10, 1954, the 179th anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps.
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy issued a proclamation that a U.S. Flag should fly from the memorial 24 hours a day.
The memorial was designed by Felix de Weldon.