Veterans solicit opinions for Korean War Memorial
SEOUL — When the Korean War Memorial opened in Worcester, Mass., last November, the zero-degree weather was somewhat appropriate considering the cold, harsh conditions that marked the fighting in the winter of 1950.
“It reminded everyone of the Chosin Reservoir,” said Francis B. Carroll, a U.S. Navy veteran and chairman of the Korean War Memorial Committee of Central Massachusetts.
More than 3,000 people attended the opening of the $1 million memorial, funded by both American and South Korean donations, Carroll said.
This week, Carroll and eight other Korean War veterans came here for a 10-day visit with South Korean Marines to solicit opinions for the finishing touches on the Korean War Memorial in Massachusetts.
This spring, a bronze sculpture of an American soldier and a Korean boy will be completed, along with a pagoda that highlights the war’s history, said Carroll. The 69-year-old veteran is gathering the opinions of former South Korean servicemembers for the sculpture, which will be made by U.S. sculptor Robert Shure.
“The American GI traditionally in all of our wars has taken care of children,” Carroll said. “The child represents for Koreans the future general of Korea.”
The Worcester memorial has received outstanding support from South Koreans. Three years ago, Lt. Gen. Kim Sung-eun, the former South Korean Marines commandant and defense minister, gave $10,000 of his own money upon hearing about it, Carroll said.
Over the last three years, Carroll’s Korean War group had held several events to raise money for the memorial.
The memorial, which honors 191 men and women from the area who died during the conflict, has been planned for about 10 years, Carroll said. It has mounds that represent the hills of Korea, and is located in Worcester Center Boulevard.
On Thursday night at the Shilla Hotel, former and current South Korean and U.S. servicemembers honored Kim and those who are now serving here, Carroll said. Current U.S. servicemembers were given Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots hats, compliments of those teams.
Among other gifts, Kim was presented a U.S. congressional proclamation signed by 16 representatives.