Copper and Its Alloys Protect Our Most Famous Veterans Memorials

The Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va., can be seen prior to the Sunset Parade June 4, 2013. Sunset Parades are held every Tuesday during the summer months. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Adrian R. Rowan/Released)
11 Nov 2016

As we celebrate Veterans Day and honor the men and women who have served and sacrificed for our country, we are recognizing a few of the many veterans’ statues and memorials that have been made from copper or from bronze, a copper alloy. These statues face wind, rain and snow, but continue to stand in remembrance of America’s veterans. Copper and bronze are ideal materials, because they allow these memorials to stand proud and untarnished for decades so that future generations will not forget those who have fought to protect this country.

Marine Corps War Memorial


The United States Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, also known as the Iwo Jima Memorial, is dedicated to all U.S. Marine Corps who have died serving the United States since 1775. It was inspired by the now famous photograph of six Marines raising a U.S. flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. The statue is made of several bronze pieces and was dedicated in 1954. The bronze has required little refurbishment since then.


Vietnam Women’s Memorial


This memorial in Washington, D.C.’s National Mall serves as a reminder of the importance of women in conflict. It honors all of the women who served in the Vietnam War, most of whom were nurses. The memorial is made up of multiple bronze figures and was dedicated in 1993. Bronze is commonly chosen to create statues because of the material’s beneficial properties like strength, ductility and durability.

(Photo credit: This image was originally posted to Flickr by cliff1066™ at )


The Three Soldiers


The Three Soldiers in Washington, D.C.’s National Mall honors Vietnam War veterans and complements the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as a more traditional aspect. The bronze statues represent three young U.S. soldiers in uniform. Bronze is relatively easy to cast and can be easily welded, making it preferable for use in statues and memorials. This memorial was unveiled in 1984 and has retained its beautiful bronze finish.

Photo credit: Infantry 351


Spirit of the American Doughboy


This copper sculpture was mass produced in the 1920’s and 1930’s throughout the United States, and exists in 159 total locations. The statues honor the veterans of World War I and were made from pressed copper. The original statue was completed in 1921 and stands to this day in Nashville, Georgia. Its copper form still shines after 95 years. The statue pictured above, located in Davidson Park in Elgin, Illinois, has begun to develop a beautiful and protective patina. This attribute of copper protects the statue from weathering.


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