On a recent business trip to Seoul, Korea, I had some free time to visit the War Memorial of Korea dedicated to remembering the history of war and peace in Korea, with particular emphasis on the Korean War. Additionally, I had the opportunity to visit Camp Casey which is the US Army Post closest to North Korea.
I have not read much, nor have had a great deal of knowledge about the Korean War. But with this visit to the museum and camp, my eyes were opened to the chronology, brutality, geography and combatants in the War. During the War, the US sent over 1.7 million troops there, with 36, 574 KIA and 92,135 wounded in action.
The Museum is setup to chronologically show the genesis of the war, beginning at the end of WWII up though recent incursions/incidents by North Korea. After visiting two floors in a very large museum, and visiting the outdoor park presenting many Allied and North Korean/Russian/Chinese vehicles and airplanes, I came away with a good sense of the close contact fighting on hilly terrain, weapons deployed and the brutal fighting through brutally cold temperatures
Throughout all the exhibits you get a great sense of appreciation for the suffering and commitment by the US Army and Marines in the war. The USA and other allies of South Korea are all notably acknowledged.
The visit also inspired me to read more about the War. On the recommendation from a business colleague who served in the US Army in Korea recently, I read This Kind of War which is required reading for all officers stationed in Korea. I highly recommend the book to anyone interested.
In contrast to exploring the Korean War, I spent most of my trip in Seoul, a city I hadn’t visited for many years. The last time was over 25 years ago while in the USAF. I was blown away by the vitality, all the new buildings, the business environment and the cleanliness of the airport and subway in a metropolis of over 25 million people.
It is certainly something to think about to see how far Korea has come since the war. And I was proud to see how the US was appreciated by the Korea people for American blood spent there.
I’m including a few photos from my visit.
Have a good Veterans Day.
Rye American Legion Post 128 Adjutant