Iwo Jima and Tugu Negara

WHEN I FIRST saw the Iwo Jima War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia 1998, it instantly reminded me of our own Tugu Negara (National Monument). Little wonder, because I learnt later that both the monuments were done by the same sculptor, Felix de Weldon, an Austrian.

Officially known as the Marine Corps War Memorial, the monument of five US Marines raising a flag was sculpted in 1954 based on a photograph taken by American photographer Joe Rosenthal on 23rd February 1945 during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. The photograph named “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima” won the Pulitzer Prize for Photography in that year of 1945.

When Malaysia’s first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman visited the US in 1960, he was reportedly inspired by the Iwo Jima War Memorial and met with Felix to design a similar monument. Our National Monument was officially unveiled on 8th February 1966. The bronze monument depicts a group of soldiers with one holding the Malaysian flag, to commemorate our fallen soldiers during the Japanese occupation in WWII and the Malayan Emergency.

(L) My first visit to the Iwo Jima War Memorial in Arlington VA which was just a short drive from our home then, 7 Jun 1998; (R) With relatives on 16 April 2000.

(L) My first visit to the Iwo Jima War Memorial in Arlington VA which was just a short drive from our home then, 7 Jun 1998; (R) With relatives on 16 April 2000.

It is here that one gets the best spot to see three of Washington’s landmarks together – Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and Capitol Hill. (16 April 2000)

A zoomed-in view of the three landmarks together. (16 April 2000)

We brought our daughter there on 18 Nov 2000 for a picture, because I had one taken at our own Tugu Negara as a child.

We brought our daughter there on 18 Nov 2000 for a picture, because I had one taken at our own Tugu Negara as a child.

Family at Tugu Negara, 15 October 1969.

Family at Tugu Negara, 15 October 1969.

Re-visited the National Monument with delegates of the “Youths For Peace” conference, organised by University of Malaya in 1990… (L) Group picture with the delegates; (R) With Cambodia’s delegate Marina. (3 Jun 1990)

Re-visited the National Monument with delegates of the “Youths For Peace” conference, organised by University of Malaya in 1990… (L) Group picture with the delegates; (R) With Cambodia’s delegate Marina. (3 Jun 1990)

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2 thoughts on “Iwo Jima and Tugu Negara

  1. I like the photos of you and your family at Tugu Negara. Very nice, especially the one where you all were standing in a row. Reminds me of the musical note do re mi.

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