Washington DC: Korean War Veterans Memorial

Washington DC sure has a lot of memorials dedicated to war, don’t you think? I am sitting here just thinking … in the recent history of the US, the past 50-60 years or so, are defined by wars. There seems to be a war somewhere that the mighty US military is fighting. This is so reflected in the sheer number of war memorials here in their capital city and the importance placed in them.

Come to think of it … many of the important events in history are characterized by wars and battles … and most great civilizations and countries had great armies. It shudders me to think that one country can only attain greatness by its ability to wage and win wars.


Just a short distance from the Lincoln Memorial is yet another war memorial that we visited, the Korean War Veterans Memorial.


Although the Korean war was initially waged between North and South Korea, it was actually a wider war … it was a proxy war between the Soviet Union and the US during the Cold War era. The war erupted when North Korea invaded the South in 1950. The war lasted 3 years. I believe the war technically had not ended because of the stalemate in fighting that both parties just ceased fire without any further hostilities.


The Korean War Veterans Memorial is simply depicted by 19 large statues of a squad in patrol. All branches of the US Military is represented in these 19 statues although I cannot tell one from another simply because everyone of them were draped in raincoats (is that what you call that? raincoats?) which obscured their uniform.


If you look carefully at each of them, you might be able to pick up their facial features that they also represent an ethnic cross section of whites, blacks, Asians, Hispanic and Native American Indians. Each of them are in various state of readiness.


On one side of the memorial stands a wall of black reflecting granite with etchings of images of war. It is quite surreal standing in front of it and seeing the reflection of the statues on it.


At the tip of the memorial is the Pool of Remembrance. Here is where it is listed the casualties of the Korean War.


The above is just the total killed in action. Over 470,000 are listed as missing from the UN side. Canada fought alongside the Americans as part of the UN force. Over 500 of Canadian soldiers were killed in this conflict. You might not realize this but a total of 17 countries represented the UN side while the North Korean was aided by both the Soviet Union and China.


One more … one more war memorial tomorrow and I will be done with wars.

Feedback please … are you guys bored with this series so far?

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  1. RobynT

    i am not *that* interested in the memorials, but i had never heard about this one before so it was somewhat interesting.

  2. KayleeRay

    I’ve never been to Washington DC but have always wanted to take a trip up there just to go through all the museums and such. It sucks they wouldn’t allow pictures in the Holocaust museum!

    The memorials aren’t that interesting just because they are so sad and depressing to me and I’m not a person to dwell on it!

    I would love to see more food related posts again, though. ;D

  3. Mistrmind

    Change the Vietnam post please. I’m not a big fan of revisionist history.
    We were not defeated.

  4. Jessica

    Honestly I’m a little bored of the memorials BUT I am a girl…guys are more interested in this stuff!

  5. KOJI

    it is a balance of boring and interesting. I think you should have combined the posts together to make things go by quicker. All the museums and monuments in one and all the memorials in another would work better.

    But thank you for your efforts.

  6. Donatello

    The Korean War Memorial is just a lifeless movie still of soldiers recreated in stainless steel and shrubs. It has about as much artistic merit as a prison tattoo. Don’t support public kitsch, regardless of what it purports to commemorate. Skip it altogether and visit the National Gallery instead.

  7. ainwa

    I liked the Korean War Memorial blog. I thought the statues looked eerie — those men would have walked among us, had they not gotten pulled to Korea.

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