I will let most of the pictures speak for themselves, but I want to point out the sheer power of this museum. To see the names of all of the thousands of Americans lost to this war is such a gripping and powerful reminder of our significant role in helping South Korea maintain their independence from North Korea and their democratic government.
The statue that struck me most here was the “Two brothers” statue outside the museum. This shows two Korean brothers embracing, reminding people of the struggle during this war between brothers. While one may live in North Korea and the other in South Korea, it is a reminder that one happened to be located above the 38th parallel and the other below it. Two brothers were torn apart by the 38th parallel and permanently separated by a war among family.
Lastly, I was encouraged to see (and hear) the gratitude that the Korean people have for Americans who gave of their lives and livelihoods to help them fight communism and help maintain their democracy within the Republic of Korea. War is never pleasant. There are always repercussions to war, but it was encouraging to see that the Korean people seemed to appreciate (for the most part) the sacrifices we have made as Americans to help their country succeed. Given the struggles of war in both Afghanistan and Iraq, it was heartening to know that the efforts Americans have made in Korea over the past 50+ years are not ones in vain.