Korean War Memorial Wall Needs Correction

Korean War Memorial Wall Needs Correction

Korean War Veterans Memorial wall
Photo by: Korean War Veterans Memorial

The Defense Department is facing bipartisan political pressure to correct more than 1,000 errors on the Wall of Remembrance at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The wall is supposed to contain the names of more than 36,000 American service members who died in theater in support of the war, along with the names of more than 7,000 Korean augmentees who fought alongside the Americans. About 1.8 million U.S. troops served in the war that began June 25, 1950, and ended more than three years later, on July 27, 1953.

Shortly after the memorial wall was dedicated last July, errors were discovered that included missing and misspelled names and names of former service members who died from causes unrelated to the Korean War. One estimate includes more than 1,000 spelling errors and the listing of more than 240 people whose deaths weren’t related to the war, including a service member who died in a motorcycle accident in Hawaii and a Marine who lived six decades after his Korean War service.

“Errors of this magnitude should not have made it past the initial blueprints, much less carved into stone, and certainly not erected and unveiled to the people,” six lawmakers say in a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. The members of Congress include representatives of the armed services and natural resources committees in the House and Senate.

Correcting the mistakes is likely to require demolition and reconstruction of some parts of the wall.

Before any construction, lawmakers want to see a list of all errors and omissions and the creation of a revised list of names for inclusion on the memorial wall. It is not clear how long this will take, but lawmakers want an update by the end of March.