The Korean War Memorial, a part of the National Mall, is a moving reminder that freedom comes at a cost. While this conflict may best be known as the setting of M*A*S*H, it was a very real and very trying time in American history. At this stirring site, nineteen bronze-cast soldiers look to be battle worn and walking next to a granite wall with a sea of sandblasted photographic images. The phrase "Freedom isn't free," inlaid in silver, is carved into another granite structure. There are soldiers from each branch of the Armed Services. On the whole, the monument honors the men and women who served their country, including the more than 50,000 making the ultimate sacrifice.
The Korean War Memorial facts are impressive, and even more amazing when seen in person, as is true for all of the Washington DC monuments. This particular memorial, in the shape of a triangle intersected by a circle, has 164 feet of eight-inch-thick walls and an excess of 100 tons of black granite that came from California. The statues, standing over seven feet a piece, were designed by Frank Gaylord. Each is dressed in combat gear, and the entire scene gives the appearance of a squad out on patrol. When the lighting is just right, the statues are reflected in the granite, giving the appearance of 38 soldiers, a nod to the 38th Parallel.
Behind the soldiers, a winding black wall, designed by Louis Nelson, features photo elements that reflect the people and other elements of the war. The statues are the first leg of the triangle of the Korean War Memorial, and the wall is the second. The third leg has not been closed in, giving an amazing vantage point for gazing at the Lincoln Memorial. You can follow a short path to the United Nations Wall, which recognizes the 22 countries, all members of the United Nations, who helped with personnel or medical care during the conflict.
In addition, the circular part of the Korean War Memorial in DC, is home to the Pool of Remembrance. Like the water elements at the nearby National World War II Memorial, this quiet place of reflection is moving, even if you weren't born when the conflict was raving. You'll also have the chance to see several Rose of Sharon plantings. If you're particularly interested in Korean War Memorial facts, you'll be interested in knowing this is the national flower of South Korea.
You don't have to worry about paying an entrance fee or making reservations to visit the Korean War Memorial in DC. If you're wondering when to go, you can visit the Korean War Memorial in DC any time it fits into your schedule. Access is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Park rangers are on duty from 9:30 in the morning to 11:30 p.m., available to answer any questions you may have, and to dish out Korean War Memorial facts from an expert's point of view.
Because parking is so limited, many times it's easier to take public transportation or one of the guided tours. Many, if not most, of the tour companies include a stop at the memorials in at least one of their city tours. The subway station at 12th and Independence, the closest to the Korean War Memorial and the other monuments, is about a ten- or fifteen-minute walk away.