Lighthouses largely represent beacons of safety for mariners; many of them are landmarks and symbols for the places in which they reside. The Windward Point Lighthouse at Guantánamo Bay is no exception, with over one hundred years of history.

In 1904 the lighthouse was first constructed in the United States and then shipped to Guantánamo Bay to be assembled. The lighthouse accompanied the original station that was established in 1898.

Since 1904 the lighthouse has been a beacon signaling Guantánamo Bay.  It has served as a visible landmark for United States Navy personnel and their families, Cuban and Haitian refugees, and more recently, detainees from across the world.  Guantánamo Bay has a charged history, and the lighthouse symbolizes the experiences of the people who have shaped Guantánamo.

Currently the lighthouse is not operational, nor is it open to the public.  The adjacent station is used to house the Lighthouse Historical Collection.  The collection includes historical information on the lighthouse, the base, and memorabilia from the Unites States Marine Corps. The historical information goes back to the Spanish American War and continues through WWI, WWII, and the Cold War.

The Windward Point Lighthouse is a natural landmark and memorial to represent Guantánamo Bay.  Guantánamo Bay is a place with charged and varied memories that are still changing today.  Preserving the lighthouse as a physical marker of history can serve as an anchor for dialogue around the controversies Guantánamo has generated.

- Kathryn Wetherbee, University of Massechusetts, Amherst