Go to contents

Wall of Remembrance is reminder of Korean War legacy

Posted July. 27, 2022 07:57,   

Updated July. 27, 2022 07:57


“We can forever leave the legacy of the Korean War, where more than 36,000 U.S. soldiers lost their lives to protect the freedom and democracy of South Korea,” said Larry Kinard, chairman of the Korean War Legacy Foundation (KWKF), in an interview with The Dong-A Ilbo, crediting the Korean War Memorial Wall of Remembrance in Washington, D.C. as the “proud” work. Mr. Kinard took the lead in the construction of the Wall of Remembrance with Colonel William Weber, who is known for his “left-handed salute,” due to the loss of his right arm and right leg in a battle during the Korean War.

“I was worried that the legacy of war might be lost, as many Korean War veterans have passed away,” said Mr. Kinard, in a deeply moved voice. “The Wall of Remembrance is a pinnacle of the efforts to remember the legacy of the Korean War.”

Larry Kinard, who studied mechanical engineering at Texas A&M University, was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the field artillery in 1950. After having made requests to be deployed to the battlefield, Kinard was sent to the 3rd Infantry Division located at the 38th parallel in 1952 as the artillery officer and fought the Imjingang River Battle. On his first night at the battlefield, Kinard ran into the Chinese army. “While I was at the guard post, the sound of the trumpet and drum blared,” he said. “I looked ahead and there I saw countless Chinese troops climbing up the trench. I was terrified but fought with the enemy. Many of our soldiers died.”

After retiring from a telecommunications company in 2011, Kinard dedicated himself to “Tell America Project” for five years, visiting schools around the country and keeping children informed of the Korean War. The project also included sending 25,000 copies of the Korean War digest to elementary and secondary schools nationwide. “It is wrong to call the Korean War a ‘forgotten war.’ The Korean War was a victorious,” Kinard said. “South Korea’s democracy, freedom, and remarkable economic growth.”

The Wall of Remembrance, which was constructed with the fund of 28.7 billion won offered by the Korean government, is engraved with the names of 43,000 American soldiers who fought in the Korean War, including the KATUSA soldiers.

Min Kim kimmin@donga.com