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Traveling Korean War Memorial
June 25 @ 10:00 am - June 28 @ 4:30 pm
The U.S. Army Airborne & Special Operations Museum (ASOM), with generous support from the Airborne & Special Operations Museum Foundation, will open the “Traveling Korean War Memorial” on the Museum’s Parade Field from June 25-28, 2021.
The memorial consists of large statues representing a platoon of 19 service members: 14 Army, three Marine, one Navy and one Air Force. The troops wear ponchos covering their weapons and equipment. The ponchos seem to blow in the cold winds of Korea. The long grass on the ASOM Parade Field depicts what is meant to be a rice paddy. The Traveling Korean War Memorial will be open and free to the public 24 hours a day for the duration, and will be lit at night.
Built by Ben Burke and Larry Smith of Lancaster, Ohio, the “Traveling Korean War Memorial” is intended to help visitors remember those that served and died during the “The Forgotten War,” according to Freedom’s Never Free Traveling Memorials based in Lancaster, Ohio.
On June 26, 2021, author Melinda Pash will also visit the ASOM to discuss her book, “In the Shadow of the Greatest Generation: the Americans Who Fought the Korean War”. This event is free to the public and will take place in the Yarborough Bank Theater of the Museum at 2:00 PM.
The Korean War is sometimes called the “forgotten war.” Nevertheless, it will never be forgotten by the tens of thousands of veterans who served during that conflict. Nor will it be forgotten by the U.S. Army Airborne and Special Operations Museum, as is evident in the Korean War section of the Museum’s permanent exhibit gallery.
The “Airborne in Korea” exhibit recounts the exploits of the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team and the units two combat jumps during the war. The highlight of the exhibit is a life-size diorama depicting the desperate action on Hill 420 near Wontong-ni, South Korea that took place on May 31, 1951. It was on Hill 420, where Fayetteville, N.C. resident Corporal Rodolfo “Rudy” P. Hernandez of Company G, 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team earned his Medal of Honor. Before his death in December 2013, he entrusted the ASOM to tell his story and consult with the staff on the creation on the exhibit.
Also featured in the Korean War gallery is an exhibit on “Special Operations in Korea.” This exhibit tells the story of the U.S. Army 8240th Unit, nicknamed the “White Tigers” who fought with North Korean partisans behind enemy lines and the U.S. Army Rangers, which also fought with distinction during the 36 months of war.