About The Korean War Veterans Memorial
The Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington DC is a monument – or rather a collection of monuments – commemorating those who fought in the Korean War.
History of The Korean War Veterans Memorial
The Korean War was a three year conflict (1950-1953) between the communist North Korea and non-communist southern Republic of Korea. The US, spurred into action by a fear of the spread of communism, the so called ‘domino effect’, came to the aid of South Korea and succeeded in gaining the support of the United Nations in doing so.
However, behind the scenes, this was not just a civil war but one between the US, China, and Russia, and one which almost escalated into a nuclear war. In fact, after a long stint of trench warfare and a stalemate, the Korean War finally ended in 1953 when President Eisenhower threatened to use nuclear force against China.
The Korean War Veterans Memorial Today
Perhaps the most striking aspect of the Korean War Veterans Memorial is its series of nineteen larger-than-life statues of US soldiers staggered across a triangular area and each with its own individual characteristics. These stainless steel statues present a haunting sight, each dressed in the uniform of different branches of the US army, and each one bearing a unique expression on their face.
One side of the triangle of the Korean War Veterans Memorial is bordered by a granite wall displaying over 2,500 photographs of US troops involved in the conflict. There is also a wall dedicated to the twenty-two United Nations countries that fought alongside the US or contributed to the war effort.
At the tip of the triangle and also forming part of the Korean War Veterans Memorial is a circular pool known as the Pool of Remembrance, by which there are listed the casualties of the Korean War, including those who died, were wounded, captured, or went missing.
Getting to The Korean War Veterans Memorial
From the centre of Washington D.C., the 80 bus, which departs every 30 minutes, will take you to a stop called Virginia Ave & 22nd St. From there, the site is a 15 minute walk. By car, it’s a 10 minute drive via 14th St NW and Independence Ave SW, or a 35-40 minute drive via 17th St NW.