National Mall and Memorial Parks | KOREAN WAR VETERANS MEMORIAL

Korean War Veterans Memorial

Korean War Veterans Memorial

The Korean War Veterans Memorial honors the men and woman of the U. S. Armed Forces and the United Nations who fought in the Korean War from 1950 to 1953. Original authorization for the memorial came in 1986 under the Reagan Administration, but it wasn’t until 1993 that construction began. It is the second “national” war memorial erected on the National Mall, having been dedicated on July 27, 1995, by President Bill Clinton and the President of the Republic of Korea, Young Sam. This dedication came thirteen years after the unveiling of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1982, and nine years before the World War II Memorial.

Korean War Veterans Memorial

Korean War Veterans Memorial

The Korean War Veterans Memorial is certainly the most eerie of those on the Mall, with its most prominent feature being a field of sculptures depicting a squad of nineteen soldiers hesitantly walking across a rugged, open field expecting to be attacked at any moment. Fourteen figures are U. S. Army soldiers, three are from the Marine Corps, and one each from the Navy and Air Force. The sculptures were created by Frank Gaylord.

Korean War Veterans Memorial

Korean War Veterans Memorial

Korean War Veterans Memorial

Korean War Veterans Memorial

A Wall of Remembrance made from polished black granite is etched with the faces of the war’s veterans who supported the ground troops. This is the work of artist Louis Nelson.

Wall of Remembrance

Wall of Remembrance

While the soldiers and the Wall of Remembrance command the most attention, the memorial also consists of a Pool of Remembrance that is encircled with benches and a grove of Linden trees. A granite curb along the pool is engraved with the number of men and women killed, wounded, missing in action, and held prisoner during the war.

Pool of Remembrance (photo by Patrick Muller)

Pool of Remembrance (photo by Patrick Muller)

Engraved granite curbs around the Pool of Remembrance

Engraved granite curbs around the Pool of Remembrance

The Korean War Veterans Memorial is open year-round, 24 hours a day. Park Rangers are on hand from 9:30 AM to 10 PM to answer questions (except for Christmas day). The National Park Service offers daily programs that rotate throughout the memorials on the Mall. To find out what sort of activities are going on when you visit, see the National Park Service’s Calendar web page for the National Mall and Memorial Parks.

Korean War Veterans Memorial at night (photo by Jason Girouard)

Korean War Veterans Memorial at night (photo by Jason Girouard)

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Last updated on April 26, 2020
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