The Korean War Veterans Memorial was authorized by the U.S. Congress (Public Law 99-572) on October 28 1986 , with design and construction managed by the American Battle Monuments Commission. Construction on the memorial began in November 1993. It was dedicated on July 27, 1995, the 42nd anniversary of the armistice that ended the war, by Bill Clinton and Kim Young Sam, President of the Republic of Korea, to the men and women who served during the conflict. Management of the memorial was turned over to the National Park Service, under its National Mall 3 and Memorial Parks group. As with all National Park Service historic areas, the memorial was administratively listed on the National Register of Historic Places, on the day of its dedication.
The memorial is in the form of a triangle intersecting a circle. Within the triangle are 19 stainless steel statues designed by Frank Gaylord, each slightly larger than life size (between 7 feet 3 inches and 7 feet 6 inches), representing a squad on patrol, 15 Army, 2 Marines, 1 Navy Medic, and 1 Air Force Observer, dressed in full gear, dispersed among strips of granite and juniper bushes, representing the rugged terrain of Korea. To the north of the statues is a path, forming one side of the triangle, and behind, to the south, is a 164 foot long black granite wall, created by Louis Nelson, with photographic images sandblasted into it depicting soldiers, equipment and people involved in the war, forming the second side. The third side of the triangle, facing towards the Lincoln Memorial 11, is open.
To the north of the statues and path is the United Nations Wall, a low wall listing the 22 members of the United Nations that contributed troops or medical support to the Korean war effort.
The circle contains the Pool of Remembrance, a shallow 30-foot-diameter pool lined with black granite and surrounded by a grove of trees with benches. Inscriptions list the numbers killed, wounded, missing in action, and held as prisoners of war, and a nearby plaque in inscribed: "Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met." Additionally, right next to the numbers of American soldiers are those of the United Nations troops in the same categories.
A further granite wall bears the simple message, inlaid in silver: "Freedom Is Not Free".
Engraved on granite blocks near the water pool at the east end of the monument are the casualty statistics for the soldiers who fought in the war.
The granite wall has 41 tiles and range from 5-12 feet high
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