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  • The original memorial in the DC area is a bench near the Arlington Cemetery Amphitheater dedicated to the “Forgotten” War. Most of America thinks of 11 seasons of television (M.A.S.H), but this was no comedy. The early years of the Cold War, it was a brutal struggle of strategy along the 38th parallel.
  • 19 Stainless steel soldiers that depict a “night watch” as they head east uphill through the juniper brush which speaks of the harsh topography throughout the Korean peninsula during the Korean War. The statues create a realistic view of the cold weather which affected the 22 UN forces led by General Douglas MacArthur in the late fall of 1950.
  • This memorial shows the horror of war as visitors reflect on the price that was paid in order to preserve freedom during the Cold War. This memorial also shows all four military branches at the time including the newly formed Air Force (1947).
  • Made from California granite, the Korean War Memorial was opened in 1995. The reflecting wall shows 2200 computer sand blasted images of M.A.S.H units, chaplainry, female nurses, Marines, Navy and Coast Guard.
  • The Pool of Remembrance which is about 30 feet in circumference which brings peace to a serious time is surrounded by linden trees. The trees create a barrel effect so that light can reflect on the water. The Pool also lists the numbers of killed, missing, prisoners of war and wounded on the US and UN forces.
  • Military ponchos were worn by these marines and soldiers during the Korean War and Frank Gaylord, designer, wanted to show the harshness of war and the cold weather they dealt with while trying to contain the Communist onslaught.
  • It was General Douglas MacArthur that stated “The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.” This quote sums up these faces on the 19 stainless steel marines and soldiers that reflect the grey granite wall to equal : 38 (symbolic of the split border in Korea)
  • “The principal effort to help the Koreans preserve their independence, and to help the United Nations restore peace, has been made by the United States. We have sent land, sea, and air forces to assist in these operations. We have done this because we know that what is at stake here is nothing less than our own national security and the peace of the world.” Quote by President Harry S Truman (addressing Congress, July 1950)
  • At the top of the triangle shaped memorial has an amazing vantage point that must be seen to understand the severity of war and tranquility of peace.
  • At the east point of the memorial there is a quote that sums up the volitale times during the Cold War “Freedom is not free”. This simple yet profound statement is inlaid with silver and leaves a lastly mark on ones heart.
  • The Korean War Veterans Memorial was confirmed by the U.S. Congress on October 28, 1986, with design and construction managed by the Korean War Veterans Memorial Advisory Board and the American Battle Monuments Commission.
  • The Korean War Veterans Memorial was confirmed by the U.S. Congress on October 28, 1986, with design and construction managed by the Korean War Veterans Memorial Advisory Board and the American Battle Monuments Commission.

The Korean War Veterans Memorial was confirmed by the U.S. Congress on October 28, 1986, with design and construction managed by the Korean War Veterans Memorial Advisory Board and the American Battle Monuments Commission.

The main memorial is in the form of a triangle intersecting a circle. Walls: 164 feet long, 8 inches thick; more than 100 tons of highly polished “Academy Black” granite from California: more than 2,500 photographic, archival images representing the land, sea and air troops who supported those who fought in the war are sandblasted onto the wall.

Within the walled triangle are 19 stainless steel statues designed by Frank Gaylord, each larger than life-size, between 7 feet 3 inches  and 7 feet 6 inches tall; each weighs nearly 1,000 pounds. The figures represent a squad on patrol, drawn from each branch of the armed forces; fourteen of the figures are from the U.S. Army, three are from the Marine Corps, one is a Navy Corpsman, and one is an Air Force Forward Air Observer. They are dressed in full combat gear, dispersed among strips of granite and juniper bushes which represent the rugged terrain of Korea.

When reflected on the wall, there appear to be 38 soldiers, representing the 38th parallel. To the north of the statues is a path, forming one side of the triangle. Behind, to the south, is a 164-foot-long black granite wall, created by Louis Nelson, with photographic images sandblasted into it depicting soldiers, equipment and people involved in the war. This forms the second side of the triangle. The third side of the triangle, facing towards the Lincoln Memorial, is open.

To the north of the statues and path is the United Nations Wall, a low wall listing the 22 members of the United Nations that contributed troops or medical support to the Korean war effort.