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Design

The Korean War Veterans Memorial

The Korean War Veterans Memorial is located near the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It was dedicated on July 27, 1995 in a ceremony attended by a huge crowd of veterans, as well as President Bill Clinton and South Korean President Kim Young-sam.

The Memorial was designed and financed by private contributions and erected under the auspices of the Korean War Veterans Memorial Advisory Board composed of Korean War veterans appointed by President Reagan.

The Memorial commemorates the sacrifices of the 5.8 million Americans who served in the U.S. armed services during the three years of the Korean War. The War was one of the hardest fought in our history. During its relatively short duration from June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953, 36,634 American servicemen and 7,174 Korean Augmentation to the United States Army (KATUSA) died in hostile actions in the Korean War theater. Of these casualties, 8,200 are listed as missing in action or lost or buried at sea. In addition, 103,284 were wounded during the conflict. The Memorial consists of five parts.

Memorial Tour with General Tilelli, USA, Ret., Chairman of the Korean War Veterans Memorial Foundation

The Field of Service

The 19 stainless steel statues were sculpted by Frank Gaylord of Barre, VT and cast by Tallix Foundries of Beacon, NY. They are approximately eight feet tall. The advance party has 14 Army, 3 Marine, 1 Navy and 1 Air Force members. They represent an ethnic cross section of America with 12 Caucasian, 3 African-American, 2 Hispanic, 1 Asian, 1 Native American. The statues stand in patches of Juniper bushes and are separated by polished granite strips, which give a semblance of order and symbolize the rice paddies of Korea. The troops wear ponchos covering their weapons and equipment. The ponchos seem to blow in the cold winds of Korea.

At the point of the triangle leading to the American flag is the dedication stone, which 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”

Statues

The Mural Wall

The Mural Wall was designed by Louis Nelson of New York, NY and fabricated by Cold Spring Granite Company, Cold Spring, MN. The muralist, sculptor and architect worked closely to create a two-dimensional work of art adjacent to the three-dimensional statues. The wall consists of 41 panels extending 164 feet. Over 2,400 photographs of the Korean War were obtained from the National Archives. They were enhanced by computer to give a uniform lighting effect and the desired size. The mural, representing those forces supporting the foot soldier, depicts Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard personnel and their equipment.

The etchings are arranged to give a wavy appearance in harmony with the layout of the statues. The reflective quality of the Academy Black Granite creates the image of a total of 38 statues, symbolic of the 38th Parallel and the 38 months of the war. When viewed from afar, it also creates the appearance of the mountain ranges of Korea.

The United Nations Wall

The United Nations Wall is located on the west end walkway. Engraved are markers that list the 22 nations that contributed troops to the United Nations efforts in the Korean War.

Australia
Belgium
Canada
Colombia
Denmark
Ethiopia
France
Greece
India
Italy
Luxembourg

Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Philippines
Republic of Korea
South Africa
Sweden
Thailand
Turkey
United Kingdom
United States of America

The Pool of Remembrance

The Memorial has a reflective pool which is at the far terminus of the Memorial site. It encircles the Freedom Is Not Free Wall and Alcove at the base of which are numerically listed the soldiery cost of the war in terms of KIA (Killed in Action), WIA (Wounded in Action), MIA (Missing in Action), and POW (Prisoners of War). The Pool is encircled by the Wall of Remembrance.

  • Killed in Action: U.S.A. 36,634, U.N. 628,833
  • Captured: U.S.A. 7,140, U.N. 92,970
  • Missing: U.S.A. 8,177, U.N. 470,267
  • Wounded: U.S.A. 103,284 U.N. 1,0654,453

“FREEDOM IS NOT FREE”…Takes legions of men and women who fought a war against oppression … a memorial of faces, complimenting the memorial of names across the reflecting pool.

The Wall of Remembrance

The newest focal point to the Korean War Veterans Memorial — a remembrance wall featuring the names of 36,634 Americans who died supporting the war and more than 7,174 Koreans who died while augmenting the Army. Their names are organized by rank and respective branch of service, demonstrating how the war’s burden fell unevenly across the military.

The Wall consists of 100 granite panels weighing between six and eight tons. The first 84 blocks are Army, the next 10 are for the Marine Corps, Navy has two and the last four are for the Air Force.

The Wall of Remembrance was completed on July 27, 2022.


What are Korean Augmentation to the United States Army (KATUSAs)?

KATUSAs are soldiers of the Republic of Korea who work in U.S. units and alongside U.S. Army Soldiers. They helped U.S. soldiers navigate the Korean countryside and were interpreters for U.S. troops during the Korean War. The KATUSA program still consists today.


Find a name on the Wall of Remembrance

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Memorial Mobile Walking Tour App –

An interactive mobile app featuring walking and audio tours of the five sections of the Memorial. Available in both English and Korean. Walking Tour ›

Virtual 3D Tour of the Memorial –

Tour the Memorial from the comfort of your home. Get a close up 3D tour of the Memorial and the newest addition to the Memorial, the Wall of Remembrance. Virtual 3D Tour ›

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