Freedom is not freeInscription at the Korean War Memorial
The Korean War is often referred to as the “forgotten” war, but 5.8 million Americans served there. The Korean War Memorial opened in 1992 and is frequently visited by the more than 500,000 war veterans still living.
Last week, a new section of the memorial opened featuring a Wall of Remembrance. This wall has 43,808 names – more than 36,000 Americans and 7,000 Koreans who augmented the U.S. Army – who died supporting the war. The wall has 100 panels, divided by rank and branch of service. More than half the panels are privates and privates first class, showing how the burden of the war was felt unevenly.
The new wall is accompanied by new paths that make it easier to get to the memorial, which has always been a special place for veterans and other visitors, but has been much less visited than the other war memorials.
The main feature of the memorial, that remains unchanged, is the 19 statues representing an advance party of 14 Army, 3 Marine, 1 Navy and 1 Air Force members. The service members are draped in ponchos to give some idea of the harsh conditions of the war, and visiting it different seasons can help to visualize it.
The memorial was designed to honor those “who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met.”
The new Wall of Remembrance extends the remembrance to all that gave their lives to the war effort.