Friday, December 7, 2007
A friend of the family was in town the other day. A number of years ago, she and her late husband spent time in Korea overseeing a group of volunteers for a multi-national church. I played tour guide and took her and my mother to see many of D.C. sites, including the Korean War Memorial. The friend asked me to take a picture of her at this memorial, which I gladly did. When it snowed Wednesday night, I made a point of going back Thursday afternoon to take more pictures. While the Korean War Memorial is unique, it is most striking in the snow. I wish I'd gone out earlier in the morning, but the roads were icy and I didn't want to risk my car on the ice and among incompetent drivers. But enough of that.
The Korean War Memorial features 19 stainless steel statues representing a squad on patrol: 15 Army, 2 Marines, 1 Navy corpsman, and 1 Air Force forward air observer. The most eye-catching element of this memorial is a 164-foot long, black granite wall with photographic images etched into the granite depicting service personnel, equipment, and people involved in a war dubbed “a police action” by the United Nations. To this day, the two Koreas are still considered to be at war, though a demilitarized zone at the 38th Parallel keeps the two countries at bay.