Korean War Vets Get New Memorial
Buchanan-Backed Bill Signed By President; Florida Has 170,000 Korean War Vets
WASHINGTON — Congressman Vern Buchanan today announced that Korean War veterans will be honored by a new memorial on the National Mall under legislation he co-sponsored.
The Korean War Veterans Memorial Wall of Remembrance Act, which was signed by the president this month, calls for a Wall of Remembrance to be built alongside the current Korean War Veterans Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The wall will list the names of all members of the U.S. Armed Forces who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the Korean War. It will also list the number of all American prisoners of war and service members missing in action.
Roughly 5.7 million Americans served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the three-year Korean War, and more than 36,000 service members lost their lives in the conflict. Over 103,000 U.S. service members were wounded in action.
Florida is home to nearly 170,000 Korean War veterans.
“This memorial will serve as a lasting testament to the bravery of the American service members who never made it home from the Korean War,” Buchanan said. “By permanently memorializing the names of our fallen heroes on this wall, our country will continue to remember those that made the ultimate sacrifice in Korea. We will not forget the cost of this war.”
Today there are more than 7,700 Americans still unaccounted for from the Korean War, according to the Department of Defense.
“The Wall of Remembrance will remind us that freedom is not free,” Buchanan said. “This memorial is the least our country can do for those brave men and women.”
Buchanan’s district has the second-highest number of veterans over the age of 65 in the state.
The legislation was supported by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Korean War Veterans Association and the Korean War Veterans Memorial Foundation.
The new Wall of Remembrance will be funded by private donations – no taxpayer dollars will be spent on the memorial.
The Wall will be an addition to the existing Korean War Veterans Memorial, which was dedicated in 1995. Admission to the memorial is free. It is located near the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall and is comprised of several commemorative structures.
The memorial includes a group of 19 statues, standing over seven feet tall and representing service members from each branch of the Armed Forces. The figures depict a squad on patrol dressed in full combat gear.
The Mural Wall stretches 164 feet and is eight inches wide. Its polished surface consists of 2,500 photographs, obtained from military archives, of American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that were sandblasted into granite.
The memorial also contains the Pool of Remembrance, 30 feet in diameter with benches, and a wall with the engraving FREEDOM IS NOT FREE. Names of the 22 countries that participated in the United Nations’ efforts in the Korean War are listed along a granite curb that leads toward the pool.