RGV Visitors Guide

Page 38 Rio Grande Valley Visitors Guide 2023-2024 lingen has to offer. For more information, contact the Downtown Harlingen Office at (956) 216-4910 or visit the website at www.downtownharlingen.com/. Iwo Jima Monument and Museum Iwo Jima Memorial Monument is located on the grounds of the Marine Military Academy. The memorial depicts the six Marines (Sgt. Michael Strank, Cpl Harlon H. Block, Cpl Harold Keller, Pfc Ira H. Hayes, Pfc Harold H. Schultz, and Pfc Franklin R. Sousley) shown in a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph as they struggled to plant an American flag atop Mount Suribachi on the Pacific Island of Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945. The island had been taken by the Japanese in the early years of the war and the planting of the flag was a symbol to the free world of the struggle going on in the Pacific to preserve freedom. Dr. Felix W. De Weldon, a sculptor serving in the Navy at the time, created a scale model, which was used for the final war bond drive of the war. After the war, De Weldon worked almost 10 years to prepare a working model for the memorial to be cast in bronze and set in Arlington National Cemetery. When the bronze statue was completed, it was dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954. The original model remained in De Weldon’s possession until 1981 when he gave the work of art to the Marine Military Academy. The Iwo Jima War Memorial Museum is located at 320 Iwo Jima Blvd., next to Valley International Airport in Harlingen, and houses a gift shop. The museum honors the efforts of Marines everywhere but concentrates on the Battle of Iwo Jima. The hours of operation are Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed on Sundays. There are no admission charges, but donations are appreciated. For more info call (956) 421-9234 or visit www. mma-tx.org/museum.htm. Harlingen Arts & Heritage Museum History comes alive through tours of the Harlingen Arts & Heritage Museum, located at 2425 Boxwood St. across from Texas State Technical College and Valley International Airport. Step inside the Paso Real Stagecoach Inn built at the end of the 19th century. Marvel at the vintage medical equipment on display in the city’s first hospital. Take a glimpse at daily life in the house of city founder, Lon C. Hill, which features many original family possessions. Enjoy photos of Harlingen’s history as an air base and exhibits of railroad and ranching history in South Texas and enjoy temporary exhibits of art and history in the main museum building.