Skip to Main Content

"The Forgotten War"

Somebody got Louie a wool cap / wearing that
and Frank's blanket / he climbed into the jeep,/
he begins to cry as the jeep/ makes its way down
the hill,/and away from the war.
Korean Love Songs'
Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, American soldier poet

Bitter cold that is the memory of war in Korea.

The northern latitude and 6,000-foot mountains made infantry treks a terrible task. Baking sun and stones everywhere that was the terrain in an unfamiliar place among a people with an unfamiliar story. Except for this the defense of Freedom.

The Monument presents a rice-field pattern at its base the remains of an oak tree standing guard. On the stump is a faded map of Korea, almost 'forgotten', like the slogan for the War. Around the tree are carved United Nations countries that shared the burden of the War. Three dog tags hang from a blown-up machine gun. Symbolizing three unknown soldiers they chime in the wind reminding us not to forget them.

'Hidden' against craters and rubble is a bronze bas-relief of three soldiers. In the cold rage of battle, an African-American 'savior', a Caucasian 'wounded' and a 'defender' exhibit heroic compassion. Haunting photos are laser-etched on the granite trench Seoul/Inchon, Chosin Reservoir, Taejon, and jet aircraft OSAN-NI-K55.

At the 38th Parallel one goes no further stopped, frustrated the only way out is to return by the way in. The War in Korea was like that after three years of costly fighting, armistice remained at the 38th Parallel. Real peace was not proclaimed

Interview with Omri Amrany
Korea Old and New, a History, Eckert, Lee, Lew, Robinson, Wagner Ilchokak Publishers for Korea Institute, Harvard University, 1990
Traditional Performing Arts of Korea, Korean National Commission for Unesco 1975
Remembering the Forgotten War The Korean War through Culture and Art Philip West and Suh-Ji-moon Ed
A Study of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center; University Of Montana, 2001
Eliseo Castaneda
Peter Chang
Edward P. Robinson

All monument descriptions in the Memorial Gallery are written by Kathleen Van Ella.
Would you like to see additional pictures of work on the Memorial, click here.