Old Barn Self Storage in Grass Valley, Calif., has erected artwork on the facility’s hillside facing Highway 20/49 that depicts the raising of the American flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima. The Memorial Day tribute is dedicated “to all of our service people, men and women, who have protected our freedoms and given their lives to serve our country,” facility manager Lloyd Young, told the source.
Old Barn regularly displays art on the hillside depicting cows, flowers and other motifs, including those that reflect holidays such as Father’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day. Young served in the Army and wanted an appropriate image for Memorial Day, so he approached managing partner Stephen R. DeSena, who commissioned local artist and veteran Steve Liserra to create the piece, the source reported.
Young specifically envisioned the iconic photograph of five Marines and a Navy corpsman raising the flag atop Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima’s highest point. The small Pacific island, now called Iwo To, was captured from the Japanese by U.S. forces during World War II. The photo taken by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal on Feb. 23, 1945, won a Pulitzer Prize and remains one of the war’s most enduring images.
Liserra’s version of the photo was painted on four plywood panels and is visible on the freeway between the Dorsey Drive and Idaho Maryland Road exits. A pole behind the art displays an American flag. While Old Barn’s hillside art is normally accompanied by the words “Happy Art,” the Memorial Day tribute has a black cloth draped over the word “Happy” in honor of those who lost their lives serving their country.