Iwo Jima Statue
The statue was modeled after a photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal at the flag raising following the U.S. victory of the battle of Iwo Jima.
Both Japan and the US valued the sulfurous island Iwo Jima.
Iwo Jima was Japanese home soil, part of Japan, only 650 miles from Tokyo. It was administered by the Tokyo metropolitan government. No foreign army in Japan's 5000 year history had trod on Japanese soil.
To the US, Iwo Jima's importance lay in its location, midway between Japan and American bomber bases in the Marianas.
Since the summer of 1944, the Japanese home islands had been reeling from strikes by the new, long range B-29's. The US, however, had no protective fighters with enough range to escort the big superfortresses. many bombers fell prey to Japanese fighter-interceptor attacks. Iwo, with its three airfields, was ideally located as a fighter-escort station. It was also an ideal sanctuary for crippled bombers returning from Japan.