In October 2016, U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law legislation authorizing the establishment of a “Wall of Remembrance” to be incorporated into the Korean War Veterans Memorial that currently resides on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
Following the Russian and Chinese-backed North Korean invasion of South Korea on June 25, 1950, the United States led a 21-nation Allied Force to help South Korea repel the communist troops. For three years the fighting on the Korean Peninsula raged. By the time the Armistice was signed on July 27, 1953, 36,574 American military personnel gave their lives in the service of Freedom, 103,284 others had been Wounded in Action, 8,177 were listed as Missing in Action (MIA) and 7,747 U.S. military personnel are still unaccounted for. The fighting took its toll on South Korean and Allied Forces as well.
The Korean War Veterans Memorial commemorates the sacrifices of the 5.8 million Americans who served in the U.S. armed services during the three-year period of the Korean War. It honors those who fought and reminds us all that “Freedom Is Not Free.”
In an effort to better convey the extent of the ultimate sacrifice of U.S. servicemen, Congress authorized the addition of a “Wall of Remembrance.” As proposed, the Wall will be made of laminated glass and encircle the rear 180 degrees of the Memorial’s Pool of Remembrance. In it will be etched the names of 36,574 Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Korean War as well as the number of U.S. servicemen wounded, Missing in Action, or Prisoners Of War. It will also honor the members of the South Korean military, who served in South Korean and U.S. units, and U.N. soldiers by listing the numbers of soldiery who were killed, wounded, missing, or prisoners during the conflict.
Funding for the Wall is to come from private donations.