Despite being depicted every week for over a dozen years (admittedly in a lighthearted fashion) on TV’s M*A*S*H*, theKorean War, in which US forces defended South Korea against invasion from North Korean Communist forces from 1950 to 1953, is known in some quarters as “the Forgotten War,” perhaps because Americans were understandably war-weary in the early Fifties, just a few years after World war II ended and were loath to celebrate a conflict that ended in stalemate. Still, the Korean War never produced the fevered opposition to the USA’s involvement that the Vietnam and the later Gulf Wars have. It has also produced relatively few memorials…
The borough of Queens has tried to rectify this with the 2007 installation of a Korean War memorial staure in Kissena Park. The bronze memorial was sculpted by William Crozier and depicts a solitary soldier carrying a rifle, heavily coated in the cold Korean winter. The apex of the memorial pedestal shows five soldiers carrying a stretcher, scaling mountainous terrain.
On the rear of the pedestal are inscribed the names of all 172 Queens soldiers who died during the conflict, and the names of persons and groups supporting the project. The Korean War Veterans Memorial Association and City Councilman John Liu assisted in assembling the funds necesary for the plaza, while the South Korean government, New York State and private donations raised funds for the sculpture in 2007.
The memorial is accessible by entering Kissena Park at Rose Avenue and Parsons Boulevard and walking about 100 yards straight ahead. It’s a solemn location in what’s largely a quiet oasis in eastern Flushing.
Photographed July 2009; page completed September 17, 2009