WASHINGTON -- The Washington area is full of statues honoring military heroes, many of whom have been long forgotten. But the latest statue, dedicated Monday, salutes a man well known to Marines: Lt. Gen. Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, the most-decorated Marine in U.S. history.
A statue of the recipient of five Navy crosses was dedicated at Semper Fidelis Memorial Park adjacent to the National Museum of the Marine Corps near Quantico, Va. The three-star general died in 1971 at age 73.
The eight-foot-tall bronze statue depicts the barrel-chested Puller with his arm extended, pointing toward the museum.
Puller is such a legend in the Marine Corps that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently quoted the "great Marine leader’’ in a speech at Quantico.
Noting that that the general was asked about pre-World War II Marines known as the “Old Breed,” Panetta said Puller responded: “Old Breed, New Breed, there’s not a damn bit of difference so long as it’s the Marine Breed.”