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April 02, 2006

Korean War Memorial

I spent yesterday and today going through the Memorial and Museum - 500 pictures worth of going through the museum and associated outdoor displays.

But this post, I'm going to highlight the Memorial. The site sits in central Seoul, on the former site of ROK Army Headquarters. The flags on the left are of the major units of the ROK Armed Forces and Police. On the right, the flags of the nations which fought under the aegis of the United Nations. The Koreans go out of their way to acknowledge those who helped them.

Korean War Memorial

Each of those arms of the building to the left and right are full of bronze tablets containing the names of the known Korean dead from the war. The areas to the left and right of the main entrance, marked by the columns, contain more names. On the right, the known dead from the resistance to the Japanese. On the left, all the known UN dead from the Korean War.

This view shows all the names of non-US dead of the UN nations. You can make out the British flag there on the closest panel.

UN Allied Nations Dead.

This view shows the panels containing the US names, organized by State. I would have preferred by Major Unit and Year (which is how the Koreans organized their panels) but hey - how many nations we've helped stay/get free have memorialized our dead in a monument in the middle of their capital city - with equal billing to their own dead? So I'm not making any official complaints.

Panels with names of US dead

This view shows the Korean panels. Those are stairs in the center, leading to another chamber the same size as this one. There is a mirror image on the other side of the Memorial, plus the section to the right of the entrance to the museum.

Korean Name Panels, Korean War Memorial, Seoul.

There are 34,000 or so names on the US slabs, so that should give you some idea of the scope of Korean losses. And the Korean panels hold more names - each Korean name is essentially three Hangul characters. You can cram a lot of names on those panels when you are doing the an English equivalent of JHD, vice John H. Donovan.

Speaking of whom - I found this panel, listing casualties from the state of Virginia, to be somewhat... bemusing.

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