korean-mem2The Korean War Veterans Memorial is located on the National Mall in Washington, DC, just south of the Lincoln Memorial and the Reflecting Pool. It honors veterans who served in the Korean War (1950-1953).

The memorial consists of a platoon of 19 stainless steel soldiers that represent all four branches of the Military: Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. Juniper bushes planted around the statues make it appear as if the soldiers are walking through a natural landscape.

A black granite wall next to the soldiers has over 2,500 photographs sandblasted into the surface that honor those who provided supply, medical, spiritual, and fire support to the frontline units. The granite wall reflects the standing soldiers and has the famous inscription, “FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.” The shape of the memorial is triangular; two long granite walls come together and meet at the Pool of Remembrance.

The United Nations Wall directly north of the soldier statues lists the countries that provided troops, medical support, or supplies to help South Korea. The soldiers face in the direction of the circular Pool of Remembrance, which lists the U.S. and United Nations' participants that were killed, wounded, or missing in action.

Korean War Veterans Memorial facts and figures:

  • The 19 stainless steel soldiers are over seven feet tall.
  • Each soldier weighs nearly 1,000 pounds.
  • The black granite walls next to the soldiers are 164 feet long and weigh more than 100 tons, or 200,000 pounds.
  • A photograph of the soldier statues, taken in winter and covered in snow, was used for a 37-cent U.S. postage stamp.

To learn more, see the Korean War Veterans Memorial site.