I am a Marine who was on active duty from 1980-1984 although this was before my time I think it is the greatest monument of all. The flag that is flying has 48 stars just like the original flag and sand and stones from IWO JIMA. The most impressive thing is that is was built by the survivors. I visit this monument at least once a month and it brings tears to my eyes every time I'm there.
The Iwo Jima Memorial in Newington is a true gem. Gary Roy, the caretaker, does a wonderful job of maintaining the property for visitors. It is an exact replica of the original, and the only Iwo Jima memorial in the country to have been built entirely by the survivors of The Battle For Iwo Jima. Located adjacent to Rt 9, it is seen by thousands of commuters, every day.
This is a beautiful monument that is well cared for by a group of dedicated volunteers. I first learned about them by seeing an announcement for an event in the newspaper. To learn that this monument was built by actual Iwo Jima survivors was astonishing! The ongoing care and maintenance, and numerous events held during each year, all done by volunteers and donations is spectacular- although many would assume that such a thing could not happen without government involvement- they are wrong! I suggest visiting the monument during one of their fine events, meet the veterans, hear their stories in their own words, admire their bravery, and most of all take note of how humble they are and what they accomplished after they returned home. Then, plan a return visit, when you are the only person there, examine the monument, read the inscriptions, walk the perimeter and read the plaques on each flag of the 100 Connecticut men who gave their lives on Iwo Jima, sit on a bench and listen to the flag in the wind, be thankful for those men who served, be thankful to live in the greatest country on the face of the earth.
As the spouse of a Marine, it is very important to share the history and meaning of Marine Service to our country. Recently we had visitors from "across the pond" and this monument was a priority visit during their stay. They were especially impressed and acknowledged the importance of learning this piece of US Marine History.
While the location of this memorial in CT is an "easy visit", we all need to share with visitors from outside our state (and local community). The people who volunteer and give of their time and treasures are true believers in our Country and our Marines.
It is such a pleasure to drive along Rt. 9 in Newington and see this beautiful monument. People don't have to go all the way to Washington, D.C. to see an authentic memorial to Iwo Jima. This monument is a lasting tribute to the brave Connecticut heroes who lost their lives in this battle. It has actual rocks from the very island they died on. I have an uncle who flew, and another who fought at that battle. This monument has wonderful events on it's grounds several times a year where the public can come and learn of the sacrifices and dedication of those from "the greatest generation" who paid for their freedom with their lives. Connecticut and New England have a true gem right in the center of this state.
I am the widow of Major General Fred Haynes, author of THE LIONS OF IWO JIMA. He was the
Operations Officer of the 28th Regiment, the unit that raised the flags.
This charity was originally founded by Dr. George Gentile...in memory of the veterans.
We were there for the original dedication.
The FOUNDATION has done a magnificent job of protecting and extending the legacy
so that these men, and their accomplishments, will never be forgotten forgotten..
The Veterans of World War II died to keep America free. We have the obligation
to keep it this way.
Bonnie Arnold Haynes
The greatness of the Iwo Jima Memorial on the Newington/New Britain line goes beyond the obvious quality of craftsmanship and impeccable maintenance. At the root of this fine memorial's distinction is a dedicated group of selfless volunteers whose entire lives are committed to ensuring the memory of Iwo Jima and those who perished there is justly honored. You can sense the meticulous care and respect from the very moment you enter the grounds. I have had the privilege of getting to know some of these folks, and I am impressed. I also have not hesitated in recommending this group in a professional capacity as a veterans charity worthy of support. This is a small-town, grass roots gem.
I am the daughter of an Iwo Jima survivor. I have so much respect for the greatest generation. This memorial represents all of those men and women. It is a great tribute to them, which they are so deserving. The park is beautifully maintained and is just a wonderful place to visit and reflect on those times. I love that it is the only memorial built by the survivors. The foundation does a great job with ceremonies and honoring those who fought in WWII. I know the Iwo Jima survivors love the recognition. Let us never forget them!
Thank you for your support and help in memory of your dear father. It is so wonderful to know that their memory will never die so long as we continue to tell their stories and teach future generations of their sacrifices.
The Iwo Jima Memorial is a place I spend a lot of time at with my girlfriend and our dog. At first, I was worried that it would come off as though we were being disrespectful by bringing our dog to the memorial, but I really think the men who served in WW2 and at Iwo Jima were doing their part to ensure that people like us could continue to live feely and enjoy time together without living in fear of a horrific government like the Nazis or the modern terrorists that the world is collectively threatened by. Their bravery, honor and sacrifice truly helped ensure that we could continue to live as free people and I think about it every time I'm there, which is what I feel the purpose of a memorial is. I'm very grateful to those who built and maintain this memorial, the people who served in the battle, and the families of those who served and/or lost a loved one as a result.
Thank you for carrying in your heart the love for the men who fought this battle and those who survived and built the memorial. We do hope people who visit will act respectful. It saddens us to see cigarette and cigar butts, liquor bottles, trash and other unmentionable items thrown on the ground. The memorial and park sits on sacred ground. Ashes of our Veterans have been placed there and we do hope people respect that.
As a military veteran I found the memorial to be very moving and well done! However I was distressed to see the American Flag in poor condition being tattered and caught in the line on the flag pole. It is a discredit to the memory of one of the finest hours for our marines and the American flag to be in this condition. Does it need to wait until Memorial Day to be replaced? Remember, not only the residents of Connecticut see this monument but anyone traveling on that section of highway also sees the condition of the national ensign......
Jaquoline Legere, RM1 USN/Ret
Jaquoline, Thank you for your service and thank you for visiting the memorial. We had the flag changed shortly after you posted your comments (we were planning to already). I would like to explain a little about the flag. We try to have the flag looking good at all times. However, the winter takes its toll. First of all, the flag has to be custom made at time of order from special material (it is expensive). In addition, the flag and pole is built in a certain way to make it historically correct to the original. There is no pulley system and we have to get to the top to change it by hand. Because we have a sprinkler system, we can not bring heavy vehicles on the grass or walkway. We have to rent a special lift (>$350) or depend on the Fire Department to change it with an extra long ladder. We have to work around their schedule. Additionally, the park and memorial runs only by volunteers and on donations, no help from the state or government. We have to raise all the funds to do this and we do our best but always need more to keep functioning. To see a video of the flag being changed, go to our video. Thank you. http://youtu.be/kmgDtAvIVq8
This park is a tribute to The Greatest Generation! A visit to this well-kept park is inspiring; a look at history and a fitting tribute to all those who served on Iwo Jima and all WWII veterans. It has an influence on current day veterans as well - a Commissioning of a new Marine Corps Lieutenant happen on one visit.
Thank you for your kind comments. You bring up a good point. We welcome other military groups that would like to honor our veterans to have their ativities take place at the memorial. Just contact us ahead of time to make arrangements.
I was deeply moved to find this memorial in Connecticut when I moved here because my uncle was KIA on Iwo Jima. We cannot easily travel to Detroit to visit his grave. My father and sisters and I donated to have a brick installed in his memory, so we now have a nearby memorial site to visit. The inscriptions and engraved pictures on the monuments give a very moving tribute to those who served. The monument park is beautifully manicured and maintained -- this shows the love and care of the volunteers who work on it. The numerous moving ceremonies for veterans help the survivors and their families meet each other and keep the memories alive. I hope it will remain this way into the future, so that our children and grandchildren will understand, too.
Thank you for your heartfelt sentiment. We would love to have it remain as you have described and serve as a central area for all to visit and remember the sacrifices of our brave heroes. We are deeply grateful to the men like your uncle who gave so much so we could be free.
I attended an Veteran's event at the Iwo Jima Memorial this year. It was a very moving, well presented program that honored the Iwo Jima veterans and all veterans that have served our nation. This Iwo Jima Memorial in Newington CT is unique and deserves wider recognition and support.
Thanks you so much. It was a pleasant surprise to have you attend our event.
This is a very beautiful, tasteful, and easily accessible memorial. The perpetual flame and the inscribed information on the sculpture are especially appropriate, adding to the emotional impact of the site. My uncle, whom I never met, gave his life at Iwo Jima, and is now memorialized on one of the engraved bricks. We brought our 94-year old father here, and he was deeply moved. Thank you to all who made it possible and who continue to maintain this important historic site.
Thank you so much for taking the time to review our work a the Iwo Jima Memorial Historical Foundation. We are very glad that you support what is being done to make sure these brave heroes are not forgotten. One of our highlights was the visit of your family and your father to the monument a few years back.
The Iwo Jima Memorial is a very suiting tribute to an important part of our American History. I have attended many of the well organized events here and listened to the moving stories of the brave men who fought in this battle. As this generation is lost, it is vital that we have something to remind us of the brave men who fought for our freedom and that we have a special place to reflect and give thanks.
Thank you so much for taking the time to review our work a the Iwo Jima Memorial Historical Foundation. We are very glad that you support what is being done to make sure these brave heroes are not forgotten. We are glad your father's donation lives on in our living history stories.
This is a great memorial. A lot of information at the site. Beautiful sculpture. Easy to get to, right off the highway.
Thank you! We will be there this Veterans Day weekend. Stop by to say Hi.
My dad was an Iwo Vet and this memorial was important to him. History of WWII is being lost. It is not taught in schools and is not considered "real" to today's kids. This memorial helps history come alive. It is important to the few remaining Iwo Vets and to their families.
We are volunteers because we became friends with the Iwo Jima Survivors 17 years ago. Once you get to know them, you develop a deep respect and admiration for them and all our WWII veterans. This is why we have voluntered for so long and continue to do so. We want to continue on with the legacy of these veterans to ensure they and their sacrifices are never forgotten. If they are forgotten, what is to keep today's Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans from being forgotten 60 years from now? Think about it. Someone once said, “The character of a nation can be measured by the way that nation treats its veterans.” Our Organization's Mission is to Maintain the National Iwo Jima Memorial, pay tribute to and honr the men who fought and died there and to educate others about World War II and the the Battle of Iwo Jima. We do this through fundraisers and events that bring about awareness of the Survivors, monument and park. We hold annual ceremonies for the Flag Raising Anniversary, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. We organize and put on events such as the Iwo Jima Survivors Victory Ride, Flag Day Open House and VJ Day Candlelight Ceremony of Remembrance. We give organized tours of the park, hold Armed Forces Commissioning Ceremonies and Memorial Ceremonies for Veterans who have passed away. We are presently raising funds by selling engraved bricks which will be placed around the memorial and by selling flag sponsorships for the 100 men who were KIA. Volunteers are always needed. There is so much more we would like to do to honor our Veterans but are short on help to get it done. Come visit the park and email us if you would like to know more. SOSIwoJima@yahoo.com. Thank You.
We are so lucky to have this beautiful and inspiring memorial in CT. My son is 14 and an avid history fan and we have been there many times, once to witness an Iwo Jima survivor receive the Purple Heart, finally, at almost 90 years of age. The monument itself is an amazing work of art, and there is so much to learn by reading the inscriptions. The work this group does is extremely important and valuable to keep the memory of this battle and the soldiers who fought there alive, and to teach the new generation about our history.