The Iwo Jima Monument stands as a powerful tribute to the heroic actions of six Marines on February 23, 1945, who raised an American flag atop Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima. Crafted by sculptor Dr. Felix W. de Weldon, the larger-than-life figures perfectly recreate the iconic flag-raising moment captured by photographer Joe Rosenthal. Honoring the sacrifice of Marines throughout history, the monument's black Brazilian granite base bears their names, while the adjacent Iwo Jima Museum educates visitors about their valor. The monument and museum are located on the campus of the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen. Erected through private donations, this enduring symbol of courage and unity continues to inspire generations to embody the unwavering spirit of the Marine Corps.
The site also honors Corporal (Cpl.) Harlon Block. He was a flag raiser depicted at the base of the statue, and a native of nearby Weslaco. Cpl. Block was originally buried in the 5th Marine Division Cemetery on Iwo Jima on March 5, 1945 (four days after being killed). A burial service was held on the island on March 26 with Pfc. Ira Hayes (another flag bearer) and other members of E Company. In January 1949, Cpl. Block's remains were re-interred in Weslaco. In 1995, his body was moved to a burial place at the Marine Military Academy near the Iwo Jima monument. It was the family’s desire to have him near the statue. The reburial was approved by the Marine Military Academy board as well as the city and county.