MILITARY & MOTORCYCLES_JUNE 21, 2013 | Born To Ride Motorcycle Magazine - Motorcycle TV, Radio, Events, News and Motorcycle Blog


Published on June 21, 2013 under Born To Ride LifeStyle

Iwo Jima Statue

It’s Time to Act

Last week I mentioned the ‘Original’ Iwo Jima statue which is up for sale and two Sarasota residents who want to purchase and have it installed next to ‘Unconditional Surrender’ at Sarasota’s bay front park.

What makes this important to them and me is the fact that Iwo Jima was one of the bloodiest battles during the war with Japan. And we are losing our ‘Greatest Generation’ at an alarming rate of 1,000 a day with the last survivor estimated to pass away in 2036.

This statue is what was sculptured by Feliz De Weldon in 1945 from the infamous Joe Rosenthal photo taken on February 19, 1945. It was also the model for the 80 ton bronze Marine Corps Memorial which sits in Arlington National Cemetery.

This piece of historical art had been lost for almost 50 years before being located by Rodney H. Brown who purchased the damaged statue from De Weldon in 1990 and restored it for posterity sake.

I spoke with Harold Ronson whose task it was to transport troops from the ships to the black sand beaches of Iwo Jima when the American Flag was raised on the 528 foot volcanic mountain known as Mount Suribachi.

Harold’s quest started shortly after the 9/11 attacks when he saw images on a screen at a ball game. He talked about it with others at the baseball game and realized not many people even knew where Iwo Jima was or why the flag was raised.

The second person in this endeavor is Thomas Savage, who described himself as a patriot (retired Lieutenant from the Sarasota Sheriff’s Office) of the Sarasota Public Art Fund told me they would like to have two like minded people or organizations to step forward and donate $500,000 each through the

Community Foundation of Sarasota County which serves as the fiduciary agent for the Sarasota Public Art Fund. The CFS will provide 501(c)(3) tax-exempt certifications and donors will receive a letter of recognition for tax purposes.

For more information email Tom Savage at or contact the Community Foundation of Sarasota County at (941) 955-3000 or by stopping by their offices at 2635 Fruitville Rd, Sarasota. For more information on CFS please go to their website at www.CFSarasota,org.

This statue is the only one in existence and should be preserved for its historical value as well as a national treasure. This restored piece of art is 20’ tall (with flag), 18’ long by 9’ wide weighing in at 10,000 pounds.

I personally feel it would be a great addition to the bay front and would attract many tourists to the area just to view it. For more information on Felix De Weldon the artist, go to

It’s time for Americans to step forward and preserve a piece of OUR history. Should you want to contact me please do so at God Bless America and all those who serve to protect us.

As a sidebar note anyone who would like to donate to this cause will help save a piece of National History. I know there are around one million veterans within the State of Florida many of whom could spare a dollar or two to preserve this sculpture for all to see. – Terry Longpre




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