“The Korean War is also known as ‘The Forgotten War’, because the half a million American soldiers who returned home after the war returned to an America obsessed with peace and unconcerned with memorializing a war that happened an ocean away.” The Korean War was made to honor the 5.8 million Americans that served in the war. It took a period of three years and is the fifth deadliest war in U.S. history. The memorial includes 19 statues, Mural Wall, Pool of Remembrance, Honor Roll, United Nation’s Curb, and Dedication stone. The Korean Memorials background and history is truly one to know when visiting Washington. Though the memorial was built by two hands, it connects with everyone. The Korean Memorial was designed by Frank Gaylord and Louis Nelson. It took a period of about nine years to be built.
Frank Gaylord sculpted the 19 stainless steel statues, each about 7 feet tall. They represent a ethnic cross section of America. “The advance party has 14 Army, 3 Marine, 1 Navy and 1 Air Force members. The statues stand in patches of Juniper bushes and are separated by polished granite strips, which give a semblance of order and symbolize the rice paddies of Korea. The troops wear ponchos covering their weapons and equipment. The ponchos seem to blow in the cold winds of Korea.” Louis Nelson designed the mural wall. “The muralist, sculptor and architect worked closely to create a two-dimensional work of art adjacent to the three-dimensional statues.” The wall has 41 panels extending 164 feet. “The mural wall has more than 2,400 pictures showing the military and their equipment. The Mural Wall gives out a good reflection of the 38 statues, the 38 months, and the 38th parallel which divided North and South Korea.” Louis Nelson used black granite panels to create the wall and Frank Gaylord needed steal to create the statues. The Korean memorial is located at 900 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20024. It’s also near the “Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.” The Korean Memorial isn’t just a touching sight to see, but the history about it is one to know. The Korean Memorial was built to honor all the men and women who sacrificed their lives in the war. They crossed the vast ocean to defend people of a country unfamiliar to them. The importance of the memorial is to memorize all the men and women that fought and were killed in action during battle. The Honor Roll at the memorial symbolizes the men and women who fought. “Designed from 15,000 photographs of various aspects of the war, the final product boasts 2,400 etched images of personnel and equipment from all the armed forces, especially support personnel.”
In addition, the war started because in 1895 the Japanese gained control of Korea and made it a colony of Japan in 1910. During World War II the allies defeated Japan and the U.S. and Soviet force ended up moving into Korea. After the war, Soviet troops occupied in Korea north of the 38th parallel of the north latitude, an imaginary line that cuts the country about in half. “World War II divided Korea into a Communist, northern half and an American-occupied southern half, divided at the 38th parallel. The Korean War began when the North Korean Communist army crossed the 38th Parallel and invaded non-Communist South Korea. As Kim Il-sung’s North Korean army, armed with Soviet tanks, quickly overran South Korea, the United States came to South Korea’s aid. General Douglas MacArthur, who had been overseeing the post-WWII occupation of Japan, commanded the US forces which now began to hold off the North Koreans at Pusan, at the southernmost tip of Korea. Although Korea was not strategically essential to the United States, the political environment at this stage of the Cold War was such that policymakers did not want to appear ‘soft on Communism.’ Even though the memorial took 9 years to build there wasn’t much discussion about it and there’s more to the memorial than just the wall and statues. During the construction of the memorial there wasn’t much problems other than the controversy about it and at first, the American Battle Monument Commission was authorized by Congress to create this memorial, but they failed to make much progress. To add, when visiting the memorial they have an Honor Roll which “includes a list of all verifiable personnel that were killed in action, still listed as missing in action, or who were prisoners of war during the Korean conflict.”Also the inscription on the Dedication Stone says ‘Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met’. Also the memorial includes the Pool of Remembrance. “The Memorial has a reflective pool which is at the far terminus of the Memorial site. It encircles the Freedom Is Not Free Wall and Alcove at the base of which are numerically listed the soldiery cost of the war in terms of KIA, WIA, MIA and POW for US forces. The Pool is encircled by a walkway along which benches are located.
The subliminal message intended is to encourage visitors to view the Memorial proper, view the listing of casualties and then encircle the Pool and reflect on the human cost of war. The further intent is to cause the visitor to reflect that ‘FREEDOM IS NOT FREE”, which is an idiom used by the U.S. It expresses gratitude to the military for defending personal freedoms..koreanwarvetsmemorial.orgIn conclusion, the Korean Memorial is a touching sight to see. This memorial designed by Frank Gaylord and Louis Nelson is one of the most touching memorials to view in Washington. The memorial is made to honor all the men and women who were sacrificed their lives fighting in battle. “After the war, when one and a half million Americans returned home, they found U.S to be a country preoccupied with peace and prosperity, not with a war that took place nearly a half a world away. Thus, the war became known as ‘The Forgotten War”. To the Americans, the Korean War was the last thing they wanted to memorialize. So, the creation of this memorial itself was a great achievement”
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