The Korean War Memorial pays tribute to the 33,000 American soldiers who gave their lives in defense of freedom on the Korean Peninsula from 1950 to 1953. It is an impressive memorial comprised of a granite wall, similar to the Vietnam Memorial, except with faces of soldiers etched into the stone. The center of the monument is comprised of statues of 19 US military men marching toward the monument's apex. These statues represent all branches of the US armed services as well as all ethnic groups who served.
At the apex is a small inscription that reads "Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met."
A short walk from the Washington Monument we came to the monuments remembering the veterans from the various conflicts. One that impressed me was the Korean War memorial with the soldiers in battle formation with full gear to protect them from the cold weather.
I like this memorial as it represents what was a reality.
The Korean War Veterans Memorial was officially dedicated on July 27, 1995 by President Bill Clinton and Kim Young Sam, President of the Republic of Korea, to the soldiers who served during the war. 19 imposing statues representing a squad on patrol stand in a triangular area and at the end of the triangle is a granite wall with the words "Freedom is Not Free".
The atmosphere at the memorial is rather solemn because of the stainless steel statues and the touching words placed on the granite walls & path.
The memorial is open daily from 8 a.m. to midnight. Admission is FREE
Alongside the Reflecting Pool, before arriving to Lincoln Memorial, you'll find the Korean War Veterans Memorial on your left. You'll know you arrived when you find the white statutes of several soldiers, separated by certain distance but as a group, as if they were joining a march. The various United Nations emblems lets you know that the US was part of a multilateral force sent to Korea between 1950 and 1953. What captured my attention, however, was the inmense wall next to it, with the phrase Freedom is not Free.
It left me thinking until now.
this memorial honors the 1.5 million american solders that fought in the korean war. this interesting monument has 19 statues of solders on patrol. the faces of the statues depict the fatigue and stress of solders in combat. a very interesting memorial to visit when in washington.
This memorial is tucked away, near a path to the basin, but worth the visit.
The statues are larger than life, and one can't help but be drawn into the moment of fear that these men must have endured.
There is along wall along the one side of the monument, which reflects a hologram of the many faces of the Korean War.
At the end, near the fountain, the wall is inscribed with the quote: "Freedom is not Free."
This memorial is well worth the walk if you enjoy history.
I did get to spend a lot of time at the Korean War Memorial as I was rushing to be on time to visit the Washington Monument and that left me just a short amount of time. In any event I got some pictures and thought this monument was very well done and effective. It was located just next to the Lincoln Memorial. .
You could almost imagine these soldiers in Korea at war.
Of the war memorials, the Korean War Memorial seemed to have a personality all of its own. Perhaps it's because the soldiers on patrol there seemed so life-like in their ponchos on such a grey day. Maybe it's because the wall there is etched with faces instead of names. And then, the stark reality of the inscription "Freedom is Not Free" (Next Tip) seemed to sink deeply inwards and create comparisons to the current events in today's news...
It appears there is some great disparity between freedom and hatred. It is one thing to kill for freedom, which to me means allowing anyone from any place in any color and any religion to coexist within mutually acceptable rules... mainly, to respect one another's differences but have the right to question them openly and without fear of reprisal. It is quite another perspective if freedom is viewed simply as a means to control or contain others- this would only represent THE freedom to dominate and too often THE freedom to persecute.
I apologize for my drifting off course, but I can't help but draw some analogies and perspectives from our apparent aversion for "memorials" to war.
This memorial was opened in 1995; it honors the 50,000 Americans who died serving in the Korean War. The memorial is shaped like a triangle piercing a circle; the circle is a pool, with a wall enscribed with the words "Freedom is not Free." Lining the pool, the number of casualties and POWs for both the US and UN are displayed. The triangle part of the memorial has a wall on the southern end where there are painted the faces of hundreds of soldiers, generals, and civilians. In the center of the triangle there are a number of statues of American soldiers in combat; they are covered in cloaks and seem to be advancing into the east.
This can be an eery place to visit...especially after dark. The lighting is from the ground up. The soldiers are positioned as if crossing a rice paddy....and you feel as if you are with them in their stealthy exploration of a foreign land. The figures are a greyish white..almost ghostlike. They move towards the Washington Monument in the distance. There is an etched wall of granite with remnants of faces and figures in the granite, which are only visible when you really look closely.
The monument is on the opposite side of the Lincoln Memorial as the Viet Nam Memorial.
Took me a long time to get around to going to the Korean Memorial, but it was certainly worth the trip. I've tried to give the feel of it thru several pics on these pages. It's a masterful job of sculpture which includes drama, grace, and patriotism in a very moving display. Well done.
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