ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA9)--A much needed change could be coming to the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington.
Better known as the Iwo Jima Memorial, it is one of the most popular monuments in our area-with over one million visitors a year. However there are no public restrooms there. Visitors are forced to use porta-potties supplied by the National Park Service. This is because of an existing 2002 provision stemming from the debate over the location of the Air Force Memorial.
On Tuesday evening, Congress passed bill H.R. 4798. Sponsored by Virginia Congressman Don Beyer, the bill authorizes the construction of a small restroom facility on the grounds of the Marine Corps War Memorial. According to Rep. Beyer, the lack of permanent accessible facilities is especially hard given the large number of veterans who visit, many who are not able-bodied.
The Senate already passed the bill. Now all that is needed are signatures. According to Congressman Beyer, there will be no cost to taxpayers. The money to build the facilities will come from donor David Rubenstein, a philanthropist and executive officer of The Carlyle Group, a global private equity investment company based in Washington, DC. Rubenstein also funded repairs to the Washington Monument following the 2011 earthquake.
The Marine Corps War Memorial/Iwo Jima Memorial was dedicated in 1954. It was dedicated in the name of all U.S. Marine Corps personnel who have died in defense of the United States. The memorial was inspired by the iconic 1945 photograph of six Marines raising the U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.