The Korean War Veterans Memorial

The Korean War Veterans Memorial is a national memorial located in Washington, D.C., that commemorates the sacrifices of those Americans who served in the U.S. armed services during the Korean War. The monument was designed by Frank Gaylord and Louis Nelson and was dedicated in 1995 by President Bill Clinton. It consists of 19 stainless steel statues, each standing more than 7 feet tall, depicting soldiers on patrol in the rugged terrain of Korea. In addition, there is an itched mural wall based on actual photographic images that depict scenes from the Korean War.

The memorial is located on the National Mall, adjacent to the Lincoln Memorial. It serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by the American soldiers during the Korean War, which lasted from 1950 to 1953. The Korean War was one of the most brutal conflicts of the 20th century, with over 36,000 American soldiers killed and another 103,000 wounded.

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Why should you go?

Visiting the Korean War Veterans Memorial is an opportunity to pay tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of the soldiers who fought in the Korean War. Here are some reasons why you should consider visiting the memorial:

  • History. The Korean War is often referred to as the "forgotten war," as it is often overshadowed by World War II and the Vietnam War. Visiting the Korean War Veterans Memorial is a chance to learn more about this significant conflict and its impact on American history.

  • Art and architecture. The memorial's striking and powerful design captures the emotion and struggle of the soldiers during the war. You can admire the stainless steel statues, dressed in full combat gear and dispersed among strips of granite and juniper bushes, and also marvel at the Mural Wall.

  • Reflection and remembrance. The memorial provides a space for reflection. You can take time to pay your respects to the soldiers who fought and died in the war and show appreciation for the veterans. It's a meaningful way to recognize the sacrifices they made for their country.

  • Accessibility. The memorial is free to visit and is open 24 hours a day. It's easily accessible by public transportation or by car, and there are no tickets or reservations required.

  • Location. The memorial is situated on the National Mall, which is home to several other iconic monuments and memorials. It's a beautiful and historic area to explore, and a visit to the Korean War Veterans Memorial can be part of a larger itinerary.

Best places to visit near Korean War Veterans Memorial

  • Lincoln Memorial. This famous American landmark is located just a few steps from the Korean War Veterans Memorial. The statue of Abraham Lincoln is a must-see attraction for history lovers.

  • National Mall. This vast public park stretches from the Lincoln Memorial to the United States Capitol Building. The National Mall is home to numerous iconic memorials, monuments, and museums.

  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This powerful tribute to the fallen soldiers of the Vietnam War is located just a short walk from the Korean War Veterans Memorial. The black granite wall is inscribed with the names of more than 58,000 service members who died in the conflict.

  • Washington Monument. One of the tallest structures in Washington, D.C., this monument is an iconic symbol of American history. You can take an elevator to the observation deck for stunning views of the city.

  • Smithsonian National Museum of American History. This history museum is home to a vast collection of artifacts, including the original Star-Spangled Banner.

  • Jefferson Memorial. This monument, dedicated to Thomas Jefferson, one of America's founding fathers, is located on the banks of the Tidal Basin and offers stunning views of the cherry blossoms in the spring.

  • National Gallery of Art. This museum showcases American and European art from the Middle Ages to the present day. It features an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, and other works of art.

  • United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This museum is dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and educating visitors about the dangers of genocide. It features exhibits, artifacts, and personal testimonies from Holocaust survivors.

  • Tidal Basin. This picturesque body of water is located just south of the National Mall. You can take a leisurely stroll around the basin and enjoy the views of the cherry blossoms in the spring.

  • Arlington National Cemetery. Located just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., this military cemetery is the final resting place of many notable Americans, including President John F. Kennedy.
  • 1
    What's the best way to see the Korean War Veterans Memorial?

    Here are some tips to make the most out of your visit to the Korean War Veterans Memorial:

    • Visit during the day. The memorial is designed to be viewed in natural light, so try to plan your visit during the day when the sunlight is strongest. The daylight will make it easier to see the intricate details of the memorial.

    • Wear comfortable shoes. The memorial is spread out over a large area, so wear comfortable shoes for walking.

    • Bring a camera. The memorial is a great place to take pictures, so don't forget to bring your camera.

    • Take your time. The memorial is a solemn and beautiful tribute to those who served in the Korean War, so take your time to reflect on the sacrifices made by these veterans.

    • Visit the nearby Lincoln Memorial. The Korean War Veterans Memorial is located near the Lincoln Memorial, so consider visiting both on the same day to make the most out of your trip to Washington, D.C.
  • 2
    What are the most interesting and unique facts about the Korean War Veterans Memorial?

    • The memorial was dedicated on July 27, 1995, on the 42nd anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean War.

    • The wall of remembrance, located behind the statues, features the faces of 2,400 soldiers who served in the war, etched onto 41 panels.
  • 3
    How many soldiers are still missing from the Korean War?
    According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), as of April 2021, there are still about 7,600 U.S. service members listed as missing from the Korean War. However, this number is subject to change as DPAA continues to identify remains and make new identifications.