When visitors arrive in WaKeeney and turn off I-70’s Exit 128 one of the first things they’ll notice is the silhouette of a very famous image that illustrates one of the most important Allied victories of World War II.
Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima by photographer Joe Rosenthal was an international sensation when it was published in 1945, winning the Pulitzer Prize for photography that year and becoming the iconic image we still associate with the successful Allied invasion of Japan and the determination and strength of the American soldier. It was a hard fought battle that ended on March 26th and turned the tide on the war in the Pacific toward our eventual victory.
The Memorial to Iwo Jima acts as a base for the stars and stripes to unfurl in our famous Kansas wind—a suitable welcome into our city where only a mile north on Hwy. 283 you’ll find the Kansas Veterans Cemetery where members from every branch of the military are interred.
WaKeeney’s monument to the soldiers of World War II was originally placed at the entrance to the planned site of WaKeeney’s Kansas Veterans Cemetery. It was designed and created by local volunteers and veterans and paid for through donations that came from across the United States. At the start of the cemetery’s construction the memorial was moved to its current location and the American Legion Moore Post #197 held a formal dedication on November 9, 2007.
Today, the Memorial to Iwo Jima is one of the first things all visitors to WaKeeney see when they turn off I-70. It’s one of several memorials to the strength, courage, and great achievements of our military men and women that we’re proud to display.
We invite all who are interested in remembering their sacrifices to visit the Memorial to Iwo Jima and all our other military memorials when visiting WaKeeney, including the Kansas Veteran’s Cemetery.