Saturday, November 10, 2012

The War Memorial of Korea in Seoul

The War Memorial in Seoul is a grim reminder of the atrocities and trauma of the war and the looming fact that the countries are just under an armistice (An armistice is a situation in a war where the warring parties agree to stop fighting. It is not necessarily the end of a war, since it might be just a cessation of hostilities while an attempt is made to negotiate a lasting peace) and not protected by a peace treaty.
I remember signing off documents after documents that incase of a force majeure, (which literally means superior force, but in South Korea, i think they refer to war) we shall not hold the house owner, school or the company responsible for any damages!

1910- 1945                 Japanese Rule in Korea
1945-1950                  Civil unrest due to opposing ideologies of the powers controlling in the country
June 25th 1950 (Sunday)- North Korea attacks South Korea
June 28th 1950          Seoul is captured by the North Koreans
Sept / Oct 1950         US and S Korean  soldiers push back the North Korean attack behind the 38th parallel and take over Seoul
Oct/ Nov 1950           China enters the war as it feels threatened by the advancing S Korean, US forces into N Korea
Jan 4th 1951              North Korean and Chinese forces recapture Seoul
April 1951                 S Korean forces recapture Seoul
July 1951- July 1953 war goes on but not major cities captured on both sides.
July 1953                   Armistice instituted and a Demilitarized zone established between North and South Korea.

Though i was accompanied by 100 happy kids, i couldnot help being perturbed by the somber nature of the place. There were life-size models of markets, homes made out of cardboard, handicapped people and even a 3 minute automated show of shootouts- all about life of suffering during the war. Details, short movies, re-enactments which leave an indelible mark on you.

The War Memorial of Korea in Seoul is free can be reached by a short walk from exit 12 from the Samkagji Station.
Entrance of the War Memorial of Korea in Seoul
Entrance to the War Memorial of Korea in Seoul on a gloomy Autumn day
The statute of the long lost brothers in the War memorial of Korea in Seoul
This statue is based on the true story of two long lost brothers, fighting for the opposite sides in the Korean war, finally meeting each other on the battle field. Their bodies are buried side by side in Seoul.
Entrance inside the Korea war memorial, Seoul
Entrance of the War Memorial

Memorial Hall in the War memorial of Korea in Seoul where the soldiers are revered
Memorial room in the Memorial where the soldiers who laid their lives for the country are revered
Names of US soldiers in war memorial
Names of the US soldiers from Minnesota, Mississippi and Wisconsin who laid their lives to protect the lives of those in a different country. 
sending messages to soldiers from the war memorial
There are many computers on which kids can send messages to the soldiers.


Life -size ships at the memorial
Kids had a great time exploring the replica of the ship used during the war which even had bullet holes marked in red.

Tanks from the war memorial
A replica of the US tank that helped during the war

Anti-aircraft weaponry
Anti-aircraft weaponry on display at the war memorial at Seoul

Weaponry used during the war
Some of the weaponry used during the war

parachutes
Parachutes on display

Korean soldiers at the Memorial
Korean soldiers paying respects at the memorial

Manless Future weaponry
Future of weapons : without men

Future Soldier
Future soldier

20 comments:

  1. You have chronicled the history quite well Meoww
    and the pictures are really good, almost like visiting the place sitting miles away.
    Thanks for the post. Keep it up :)

    Regards

    Jay
    http://road-to-sanitarium.blogspot.in/

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  2. Interesting learning the war history of Korea... the story of brothers is touching along the shot! Great display of arms and vessel. Thanks for taking around the war memorial :)

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  3. interesting...so much history behind this place

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  4. Well done post about a very sad time...hard to see, but so important that we not forget sad history.

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  5. Poinant and moving.
    Thank you for sharing such vivid descriptions of a distant place. I may never visist the place but I now know all about it thanks to you

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  6. that was quite interesting ! And the pics are also great ...

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  7. We had a South Korean girl attend the same school as our daughter in Malaysia. She, obviously has no memories of the war and was a happy, well adjusted child. Life does go on but it is good to see how much war devastates. Imagine fighting on the opposite side - that was a heartbreaking story.

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  8. pictures could have been little brighter, but I guess it is the weather

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  9. So much of history! Great pictures to relate to.

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  10. Great shots of memorial. I missed seeing this when I was there for few days.

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  11. A hard place to visit, yet worth remembering and being gratefu for today.

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  12. What an incredible memorial and, to be honest, I think the gray skies speak for the sadness one has to feel when visiting such a place! Superb captures and information!! Thank you so much for sharing this. I lost several high school friends in Korea during the war and it is great to see their sacrifice honored.

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  13. I did not see that when I was in Seoul, thanks for the photos. War memorials always make me feel sober, it's so frustrating thinking about all those lost lives. Every one of them was a human being with hopes and dreams.

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  14. A nice tribute to the fallen ones.

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  15. Thank you for your lovely comments on my blog, I appreciate you visiting.
    Karen

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  16. those are some lovely pictures nad a beautiful memorial


    Bikram's

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