Korean War Veterans Memorial

Korean War Veterans MemorialThe Korean War Veterans Memorial was established by Public Law on October, 28, 1986 "…to honor members of the United States Armed Forces who served in the Korean War, particularly those who were killed in action, are still missing in action, or were held as prisoners of war." The law created an advisory board to oversee all parts of the building of the memorial.

President George H. W. Bush broke ground for the Memorial on June 14, 1992, Flag Day. It was opened on July 27, 1995, the 42nd anniversary of the armistice that ended the war, by President Bill Clinton and Kim Young Sam, President of the Republic of Korea, to the men and women who served during the conflict. The memorial is managed by the National Park Service and has more than 3,200,000 visitors each year.

Korean War Veterans MemorialIt is near the Lincoln Memorial and right across the reflecting pool from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The memorial is a triangle crossing a circle. inside the triangle are 19 stainless steel statues designed by Frank Gaylord, each more than life-size (between 7 feet 3 inches and 7 feet 6 inches), showing a troop on patrol, 15 Army, 2 Marines, 1 Navy Corpsman, and 1 Air Force Forward Air Observer. All are in complete combat gear and are placed among strips of granite and juniper bushes, which represents the rough land of Korea. One side of the triangle is a path to the north. The second side to the south is a 164 foot black granite wall that has sandblasted into it images of soldiers, equipment and people in the war. The third side of the triangle, towards the Lincoln Memorial, is open. These components tell the story of the love of country, dedication to duty, and bravery of Korean War veterans.

To the north is the United Nations Wall, naming the 22 members of the United Nations that sent soldiers or medical help to the Korean war. Another granite wall bears the simple message, iin silver: "Freedom Is Not Free".

The circle has a Pool of Remembrance, a shallow 30 foot pool that is lined with black granite and has a grove of trees with benches around it. There are inscriptionson the wall listing the statistics of those who lost their lives, were wounded and those missing in action, and a nearby plaque is inscribed: "Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met." Right next to the numbers of American soldiers are the United Nations troops in the same categories. The south side of the memorial has three bushes of the Rose of Sharon hibiscus plant, South Korea's national flower.

There are more than 3,200,000 visitors each year to the memorial, and it is managed by the National Park Service.


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