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Names of 43,808 heroes of the Korean War are etched on the wall

Names of 43,808 heroes of the Korean War are etched on the wall

Posted July. 28, 2022 07:59,   

Updated July. 28, 2022 07:59


The Wall of Remembrance, which features the name of 43,808 service members, including the American and Korean KATUSA soldiers who lost their lives in the Korean War, has been officially unveiled on Wednesday. This is in 18 years since the Korean War veterans pushed ahead with the plan in order to commemorate the Korean War, once dubbed as the “forgotten war,” and honor it as a “triumphant war.”

The unveil ceremony took place on Wednesday morning at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., attended by 2,000 Korean War veterans and bereaved families. With a circumference of 130 meters and a height of one meter, a granite wall is engraved with the names of 36,634 Americans and 7,174 Koreans who served under U.S. command (KATUSA). The historic symbol etched with the names of the fallen soldiers who shed their blood together in the Korean War stands just 200 meters away from the Lincoln Memorial, a symbol of American democracy. Many have expressed a feeling of regret over not having a monument for the dead soldiers of the Korean War, as opposed to the ones honoring the service members of World War II (World War II Memorial) and the Vietnam War (Vietnam Veterans Memorial).

The construction of the Wall of Remembrance was first planned in 2004 with an initial due date in 2013, the 60th anniversary of the armistice agreement, by the lead of late Col. William Weber, who lost his right arm and right leg in the Korean War, and several Korean War veterans. Although the Korean War Veterans Memorial Wall of Remembrance Act passed the Congress in 2016, the construction work commenced as late as 2021, due to budgetary inspection of the Korean government in 2017, and the construction was finally completed this year, marking 69th anniversary of the armistice agreement, three months after the death of Col. Weber, who wished to see with his eyes the Wall of Remembrance before he died.

Both South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and U.S. President Joe Biden released a remark and reaffirmed to strengthen the KORUS alliance. In the congratulatory remark read by proxy by Patriots and Veterans Affairs Minister Park Min-shik, President Yoon stated that the Wall of Remembrance symbolizes “the ironclad ROKUS alliance forged in blood of heroes,” and that it will forever be remembered as “the historic symbol and the space of peace that informs Americans and people around the world of the Korean War.” Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff attended as the U.S. counterpart and read by proxy President Biden’s congratulatory remark.

The White House and the federal government hoisted the flag across the U.S. at half-mast in honor of the armistice day of the Korean War. Since 2009, the U.S. has been observing the armistice of the Korean War, following the Memorial Day.

Jin-Woo Shin niceshin@donga.com