Korean War Memorial
Korean War Memorial
---Dedicated in 1987 to honor the veterans who served in Korea, 1950-1953
---one of only two war memorials that was created and built by those who served in the war since they felt as thought they were “forgotten” or not respected in their own times. The other one being the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
---Monument includes (recognizes) all branches of the military, the support groups, and the 22 nations that sent supplies and personnel in support of the United Nations action
---The monument designed as a circle intersected by a triangle which represents the Korean peninsula.
---There are 19 statues sculpted by Frank Gaylord of Barre, Vt., and cast by Tallix Foundries of Beacon, N.Y. They are approximately 7’3" tall, heroic scale and consist of 14 Army, 3 Marines, 1 Navy, 1 Air Force. They represent an ethnic cross section of America with 12 Caucasian, 3 African American, 2 Hispanic, 1 Oriental, 1 Indian (Native American) all marching toward the American flag = “home/security”
---The 19 statues are reflected in the wall which double the number to 38 representing the 38th parallel which most of the war was fought near as well as the 38 months that the war was fought
---The juniper bushes are meant to be symbolic of the rough terrain encountered in Korea, and the granite stripes of the obstacles overcome in war.
---The Marines in column have the helmet chin straps fastened and helmet covers. Three of the Army statues are wearing paratrooper boots and all equipment is authentic from the Korean War era (when the war started most of the equipment was WWII issue).
---Three of the statues are in the woods, so if you are at the flagpole looking through the troops, you can't tell how many there are, and could be legions emerging from the woods. The statues are made of stainless steel, a reflective material that when seen in bright sunlight causes the figures to come to life.
---The blowing ponchos give motion to the column, so you can feel them walking up the hill with the cold winter wind at their backs, talking to one another.
---At nighttime the fronts of the statues are illuminated with a special white light; the finer details of the sculpture are clearly seen and the ghosts appear on the wall.
---The Mural Wall was designed by Louis Nelson of New York, N.Y., and fabricated by Cold Spring Granite Company, Cold Spring, Min. The wall consists of 41 panels extending 164 feet. Over 15,000 photographs of the Korean War were obtained from the National Archives to create the mural. The photographs were enhanced by computer to develop a uniform lighting effect and size, and to create a mural with over 2,400 images. The mural depicts Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard personnel and their equipment. The etchings are arranged to give a wavy appearance in harmony with the layout of the statues. The reflective quality of the Academy Black Granite creates the image of a total 38 statues, symbolic of the 38th Parallel and the 38 months of the war. When viewed from afar, it also creates the appearance of the mountain ranges of Korea.
---Upon close inspection, you will see that all of the images look straight out from the wall over the platoon of statues; the soldiers they were there to support.
Included are etchings of the U.S. Army supporting artillery, rocket launchers, 240mm self-propelled guns, antiaircraft artillery, projectiles, armored vehicles, tank crewmen, Patton Tanks, M.A.S.H. units, rescue helicopters, surgeons, nurses, ambulances, blood transfusions, stretcher bearers, chaplains representing all denominations, mine clearing, bridge building, road and airfield construction, supply centers, ammunition and fuel dumps, placing communication lines, switchboards and radio communications.
Etchings show U.S. Air Force air-ground controllers, AT-6's, F-80's, F-86's, P-51's, C-47's, C-97's pilots, crewmen bombs, air evacuation, paratroopers, airborne assaults and aerial re-supply.
Also shown are U.S. Navy air evacuation, hospital ships, iron lung, air landing officer, Corsair pilots, submarines, Seabees, landing forces, ships: APA's, AKA's, LC1's, LCVP's. Also shown are POW handing, traffic control, military police, Red Cross, canine corps, KATUSA's (Koreans attached to the U.S. Army), photographers, reporters and a shrine.
---To the south of the Memorial are three beds of Rose of Sharon hibiscus plants. This plant is the national flower of South Korea.
Pool of Remembrance:
Honoring the dead, the missing the POW's and the wounded from the U.S. and UN Forces...statistics engraved in stone...walk out into the pool area on a peninsula symbolic of Republic of Korea, which is a peninsula.
Twenty-two nations responded to the UN call to defend freedom and repel the communist aggression...names of all nations are engraved on the curb stone along the north entrance. Seventeen nations provided combat units, five provided medical support.
The Honor Roll contains all verifiable names of those on active duty who were killed in action, still listed as missing in action, and captured as prisoners of war in the Korean War (these names come from the National Archives, DoD and relatives). Those who died elsewhere in the in service to their country in the cause of freedom during the Korean War, June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953, will also be included if family and friends so request and have verifiable data.
On June 25, 1950, the North Korean offensive started from four locations across the 38th parallel into South Korea. In 41 days the South Korean and American forces would be driven back into the Pusan perimeter, just a few miles from the southern shore of the tip of South Korea. In August reinforcements from the Eighth Army and Marine Corps would arrive.
By the end of September the Eighth Army would break out of the Pusan perimeter while Infantry and Marine Corps landed at Inchon and liberated Seoul, the capital of South Korea. Three months later Marines, forward details from the Army and other British, French, Turkish, South Korean and other United Nations forces would stand at the Yalu River, the border between Korea and China, thinking the war was nearly over. Soon after reaching the border, a force of 300,000 Chinese troops who had moved into North Korea during the UN advance and concealed themselves in the mountainous terrain, attacked the UN forces from the rear. The UN forces would soon be fighting their way back to the coast to be taken off by the Navy or to secure positions in the south. The next 2½ years of the conflict would become trench warfare or battles for hilltops fought back and forth across the 38th parallel. During the war several decisions were made that would set the course of World history. Prior to the conflict America was disarming from World War II, ignoring the communist threat. After the North Korean invasion, President Truman set the doctrine that no country would fall to communism. It marked the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union and established our industrial base for the next 50 years.
Message on the wall (In BOLD)
"FREEDOM IS NOT FREE"...
It Takes legions of men and women who fight a war against oppression...a memorial of faces, complimenting the memorial of names across the reflecting pool...
"OUR NATION HONORS HER SONS AND DAUGHTERS WHO ANSWERED THE CALL TO DEFEND A COUNTRY THEY NEVER KNEW AND A PEOPLE THEY NEVER MET"
The Korean Conflict
NOTE: Although many people refer to this conflict as the "Korean War", the U.S. Congress never officially declared war in Korea.
•Shortly after World War II, the Korean Peninsula was divided at the 38th Parallel; land lying to the north eventually formed the Communist-aligned People's Republic of China; U.S.-sponsored elections in the south led to the forming of the Republic of Korea in 1948
•Kim Il Sung, leader of North Korea, sought to unify the Peninsula under Communist rule and launched a military attack along the 38th Parallel on June 25, 1950. By June 28, the North Koreans had captured Seoul and were advancing further south.
•South Korean troops were quickly overwhelmed and sought the support of the United Nations. In September 1950, UN troops landed in Inchon, took back Seoul and South Korea and began to advance north as far as the Yalu River, which forms the border between China and North Korea.
•The Chinese government responded with military forces between November 1950 and January 1951 and the combined effort of the Chinese and North Korean troops forced the UN forces to retreat. The Communist forces soon recaptured Seoul and North Korea.
•A two-year stalemate began in summer 1951, with neither side advancing far beyond the 38th Parallel. During the 1952 United States Presidential elections, candidate Dwight Eisenhower stated, if elected, "I will go to Korea." After his election, he warned Communist Chinese leaders that, if they did not sign an armistice agreement, he would "not be constrained" in the weapons he would use, a statement interpreted as a reference to the possibility of using nuclear weapons.
•On July 27, 1953, the United Nations, North Korea, and China signed an armistice agreement in Panmunjom, reestablishing the two Korean countries with a border just north of the 38th Parallel.
•54,246 Americans lost their lives during the Korean Conflict in a period of 38 months. In comparison, 58,245 died in Vietnam over a period of just over 17 years.