Tribute to Korean War Found Offensive

The Korean War of the 1950s is one of the least memorialized military efforts in American history. Many thought that was set to change this past Memorial Day, when Ohio revealed a new tribute to the conflict which measured forty-eight square feet and depicted a wide array of war-related imagery. Unfortunately, virtually none of these militaristic images had anything whatsoever to do with the Korean War, showing an utter lack of respect for military history.

One of the most glaring mistakes in the tribute is the soldiers themselves, few of which hail from the appropriate era. There are some from Vietnam, while still others are in much more contemporary gear than could be expected from a soldier during the Korean War. This is not half so offensive, however, as the fact that the monument fails to pay respect to the deceased. Names of fallen soldiers are listed as with most memorials, but this one brazenly (or lazily) leaves many of them out, the Sploid reports.

The vehicles depicted in the collage are fraught with historical errors as well. Near the center of the imagery, an Abrams tank is seen rolling in from near the waterfront. This might be a nice addition to the scene if not for the fact that the M1 Abrams pictures was not put into service until nearly thirty years after the Korean War ended. Even worse, it has a star on the side which appears to be superimposed onto the image, and is more like something the Soviets might have used during WWII. The whole thing is in front of a POW/MIA flag, which also did not exist at the time.

The tank is not the only vehicular gaff in the picture. There is also a Huey medical chopper from the Vietnam conflicts (again, not the Korean War) and several planes that appear to be a part of the air team known as the Thunderbirds. Neither the air team nor the type of jets depicted existed in the 1950s. In fact, the F-16s were not put into action until the late 1970s, meaning they are in error by over twenty years.

The Korean War may not often be memorialized, but it was still a bloody conflict in which many sacrificed their lives for what they believe in. Many have claimed they would rather have no memorial than one which pays little or no tribute to the conflict it claims to honor. It is no wonder that to this day, the Korean War is still referred to as the Forgotten War.


Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE