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Blakeview: Molly Marine

Enrique Alferez's statue sits near Canal Street and Elks Place

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With lots of talk about monuments recently, and with Memorial Day this week, I thought we'd revisit the history of a statue that honors not just one person but an entire group who has served our country: female Marines. The statue of Molly Marine, as she is known, was erected in 1943, the year the U.S. Marine Corps first accepted women. The statue sits near the corner of Canal Street and Elks Place in the neutral ground across from the Joy Theater. The 12-foot statue was the work of noted sculptor Enrique Alferez, whose public art is well-known in New Orleans City Park and at Lakefront Airport. Alferez based the statue on likenesses of four female Marines, as well as a professional model named Judy Mosgrove. "Molly" was created as a tribute to the women who served in World War II and continue to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps. It was the first statue of a woman in military uniform erected in the United States. Because of the wartime restriction on the use of metals, the statue was made of cast concrete, but in 1966 it was bronzed. Replicas of the statue are located at Marine bases in Quantico, Virginia and Parris Island, South Carolina.

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