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Korean War Veterans Memorial. was authorized by Public Law 99-572 on Oct. 28, 1986 "…to honor members of the United States Armed Forces who served in the Korean War, particularly those who were killed in action, are still missing inaction, or were held as prisoners of war." The law established an advisory board of 12 veterans appointed by the president to coordinate all aspects of the memorial’s construction. The site is located adjacent to the Lincoln Memorial directly across the reflecting pool from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The American Battle Monuments Commission managed the project and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provided assistance. The architect of record is Cooper Lecky Architects. President Bill Clinton and South Korean President Kim Young Sam dedicated the memorial on July 27, 1995. Since the dedication several modifications have been incorporated: a kiosk to provide shelter for National Park Service personnel and a computer system with data housing the "Honor Role," which was accessible to the public. Correcting accessibility issues and replacement of the lighting in the statuary and along the mural wall with a state-of-the-art fiber optic system were required. Reconstruction of the pool and tree grove by the National Park Service and Corps of Engineers to improve tree maintenance and operate the reflecting pool was completed in July 1999. The overall cost for the design and construction of the memorial and kiosk was $16.5 million.

There are 19 statues sculpted by Frank Gaylord of Barre, Vt., and cast by Tallix Foundries of Beacon, N.Y. They are approximately 7’3" tall, heroic scale and consist of 14 Army, 3 Marines, 1 Navy, 1 Air Force. They represent an ethnic cross section of America with 12 Caucasian, 3 African American, 2 Hispanic, 1 Oriental, 1 Indian (Native American).

History:

On June 25, 1950, the North Korean offensive started from four locations across the 38th parallel into South Korea. In 41 days the South Korean and American forces would be driven back into the Pusan perimeter, just a few miles from the southern shore of the tip of South Korea. In August reinforcements from the Eighth Army and Marine Corps would arrive.

By the end of September the Eighth Army would break out of the Pusan perimeter while Infantry and Marine Corps landed at Inchon and liberated Seoul, the capital of South Korea.

Three months later Marines, forward details from the Army and other British, French, Turkish, South Korean and other United Nations forces would stand at the Yalu River, the border between Korea and China, thinking the war was nearly over. Soon after reaching the border, a force of 300,000 Chinese troops who had moved into North Korea during the UN advance and concealed themselves in the mountainous terrain, attacked the UN forces from the rear. The UN forces would soon be fighting their way back to the coast to be taken off by the Navy or to secure positions in the south. The next 2½ years of the conflict would become trench warfare or battles for hilltops fought back and forth across the 38th parallel.

During the war several decisions were made that would set the course of World history. Prior to the conflict America was disarming from World War II, ignoring the communist threat. After the North Korean invasion, President Truman set the doctrine that no country would fall to communism. It marked the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union and established our industrial base for the next 50 years.

Message: "FREEDOM IS NOT FREE"...Takes legions of men and women who fight a war against oppression...a memorial of faces, complimenting the memorial of names across the reflecting pool...

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Additional Photos by Edgar Alejandro Guzman Jurado (alejandroguzman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 676 W: 88 N: 501] (4684)
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