Harlingen’s most recognizable heritage tourism attraction is the Iwo Jima Monument. This massive structure is the original working model used by sculptor Dr. Felix de Weldon in his casting of the official bronze version in Washington, D.C. The monument is as powerful as the true rendering, with its six inspirational figures stirring strong patriotic emotions among the veterans and visitors who make regular pilgrimages to the memorial. Dr. de Weldon donated the structure to the nearby Marine Military Academy as an inspiration to young cadets, also considering the regional connection to one of the soldiers depicted in the monument and the area’s ideal temperatures. Be sure to visit the adjacent museum and gift shop associated with the Marine Military Academy. The museum contains exhibits and displays primarily related to the U.S. Marine Corps, including the Iwo Jima Veterans Hall of Fame and an educational and stirring film about the Battle for Iwo Jima.
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